DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - October baseball is back in Cleveland. Here are five players to watch Thursday night.
Bauer is the wild card for the Tribe in these playoffs. He has magnificent stuff, which you'd expect from a guy who was the 3rd overall pick in the Draft. But he also is, admittedly, tough to work with if you're a pitching coach because Bauer sticks to his own unconventional workouts and approach. He also wasn't strong against the Red Sox this season, with a 12.91 ERA. If he can stay out of his own way in Game 1 and give the Indians a chance to win, however, he'll set the tone for this series.
The Red Sox ace racked up 22 wins and only 4 losses this season. He's not overpowering, but he attacks hitters by locating their weak spots and hitting them there. His money pitch is a sinker. Mike Napoli hasn't had much success against him in the past, but others have, including…
Santana vs. Porcello is considered one of the key matchups of this series. Santana knows him well from Porcello's days with the Tigers, and Santana has hit him well, batting .293 with three home runs against him in his career.
We haven't said this often during the season, but Lindor is the second-best shortstop in this series. Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox edges him out (for now) because of his better offensive numbers. But Lindor is a fellow All-Star, and if the Midsummer Classic wasn't his coming-out party, this series could be. It's time for a national baseball audience to get to know Frankie.
The Red Sox right fielder may be the American League MVP. He crushed it this season, hitting .318 with 31 home runs and 113 RBI's. Oh, he also racked up 26 steals. And he's only 23 years old. He doesn't have playoff experience, but not much has fazed him in his young MLB career.
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