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What are the keys to the Red Sox-Indians series?

David Price
Boston’s David Price pitches against Toronto on Oct. 2.
(Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

Red Sox vs. Indians

Game 1: Thursday at Cleveland, 5 p.m.

Boston: Porcello (22-4, 3.15)

Cleveland: Bauer (12-8, 4.26)

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Game 2: Friday at Cleveland, 1:30 p.m.

Boston: Price (17-9, 3.99)

Cleveland: (Kluber (18-9, 3.14)

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Game 3: Sunday at Boston, 1 p.m.

Cleveland: Tomlin (13-9, 4.40)

Boston: Buchholz (8-10, 4.78)

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Game 4: Monday at Boston, TBA

Cleveland: TBA

Boston: TBA

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Game 5: Wednesday at Cleveland, TBA

Boston: TBA

Cleveland: TBA

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Projected lineups

 

P; BOSTON; AVG; HR; RBI 

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2B Dustin Pedroia, .318, 15, 74

3B Brock Holt, .255, 7, 34

RF Mookie Betts, .318, 31, 113

DH David Ortiz, .315, 38, 127

1B Hanley Ramirez, .286, 30, 111

SS Xander Bogaerts, .294, 21, 89

CF Jackie Bradley, .267, 26, 87

C Sandy Leon, .310, 7, 35

LF Andrew Benintendi, .295, 2, 14

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P; CLEVELAND; AVG; HR; RBI 

1B Carlos Santana, .259, 34, 87

2B Jason Kipnis, .275, 23, 82

SS Francisco Lindor, .301, 15, 78

DH Mike Napoli, .239, 34, 101

3B Jose Ramirez, .312, 11, 76

RF Lonnie Chisenhall, .286, 8, 57

LF Rajai Davis, .249, 12, 48

CF Tyler Naquin, .296, 14, 43

C Yan Gomes, .167, 9, 34

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Keys to the series

Boston’s lineup owns an obvious edge, but pitching seems likely to decide this series. Cleveland is shorthanded, without two of its top three starters. And the Indians’ ace, Corey Kluber, only recently recovered from a quad strain. That could be the undoing for a club driven by pitching all season. One counterpoint: Indians manager Terry Francona has two elite relievers, and he’s unafraid to use them in nontraditional spots. Even if the series goes five gaves, the Red Sox will receive only one start from their big-money free-agent signing, David Price, who has struggled in playoffs past and did not dominate as expected this year.

The pick: Red Sox in 5.


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