FEATURE
2034 Playoff Breakdowns: Boston - Philadelphia
A Battle of Veterans led by young stars.
by DR. STEVEN CRENTIST

Starting Lineup

Juan Morales vs J.R. Treichel. Both of these teams have plenty of playoff experience and have these young stars to lead their teams for years to come. The difference between these two players ultimately illustrates the difference in these teams. Boston has better hitters while Philly focuses more on defense. In this case I think the Red Sox’s depth of good hitting matters more than the Phillies' 4th-ranked defense.

Philadelphia ended up moving some of their hitters at the deadline (Billy Lopez to CC and Reggie Pannekok to Vinson) while Boston shored up the lineup and acquired Rodolfo Montavo. With these late season trades, Boston clearly solidified its advantage over the Phillies in this category. Boston has some serious hitters in Chung, Tucker, Montalvo, Treichel, Mennie, and Legault. Hopefully Philly can use its speed and its gloves (looking at you Botal Vardasca) to counteract this. In this category, the nod goes to Boston.

Advantage: Boston

Rotation

This one is close. Both of these teams’ rotations have come down a little from their peak (remember Quintilla’s perfect game) but they are still very solid. Boston has Tony Torres (3.12 ERA) and Emilio Rios (3.64 ERA) headlining their rotation with George Clow (4.29) and John Ayers (4.47) rounding it out. If Ayers can find a regain his mojo from last year then the Boston rotation will be formidable.

Philadelphia is headlined by Tom Colbert (2.95 ERA) though both Dan Sepkiechler (3.54 ERA) and Roberto Santibanez (3.52 ERA) have both been very good as the 2nd and 3rd pitchers. Glenn Lawrence is a solid 4th pitcher. What gives Philadelphia the advantage here is that Tom Colbert is a true ace and has been for his time in the league. Both of these rotations have guys who could go either way in the playoffs, so I look to Colbert to bring some consistency.

Advantage: Philadelphia

Bullpen

Boston has the clear advantage here with many dynamic arms in their bullpen. Bobby Turcios and Si Wen have had great years as stoppers for the Sox. Demetrius Wilson and Sueng-hyeon Lim are two dynamic lefties who can also hold a lead. Meanwhile, Kenneth “Admiral” Achber can provide some stable long relief innings in case one of their starters combusts.

Javy Montes has been the leader in the Phillies bullpen since the start, but unfortunately he has turned in his first off year. He is still a solid closer, and hopefully he can return to the Montes of old in the playoffs. Hopefully their setup man Cameron Walker can get some help from the middle relievers Philly is using. Ultimately, Boston has more depth and reliability in their bullpen.

Advantage: Boston

Final Prediction

This season series went to Boston by a margin of 4-3. I think the playoffs is going to go the same way. Both of these teams have plenty of playoff experience and both teams have some dynamic players. Ultimately Boston has more depth and should win the series 4-2 or 4-3. I am going to go with 4-3.

Pick: Boston in 7