Who are you rooting for in the ALCS?
That’s a question I’ve heard a lot. It’s not one I care to answer because I’d like to cover a couple of their games someday and don’t want to anger them. But if you want the Red Sox to do well next season, you might want the Yankees to do well in this series.
Here’s the theory behind this. The Red Sox and Yankees were neck-and-neck this season and since the Yankees are a young team, there is a chance they improve next season. They’re also in a pretty good position to make it to the World Series as of Thursday–which means they have a shot at winning it. That’s more than the Red Sox can say right now.
Red Sox fans don’t want to see that happen, I assume. But if the Yankees are good, it puts pressure on the Red Sox this offseason to go out and get better. So, technically, it could cause the Red Sox to make a knee-jerk move and grab a big free agent this offseason. Since there’s not a ton of talent in the Red Sox upper minors anymore, this might be their best shot of contending for a World Series title in 2018.
The Red Sox lineup this year wasn’t good enough to win a title. Not having a lefty reliever was a hole. And some pitching depth could help so that starters are not cooked headed into the postseason. A lot of people say the starters need to throw a lot of innings so the bullpen isn’t taxed by then. But to be fair, you don’t want either to be overworked. Red Sox starters led the AL in innings pitched (951.1) last season but their starters got shelled in the ALDS this year and last year, so maybe it’s time to try a different strategy there…
Pretty much, the Red Sox need to ignore the luxury tax threshold if they want to be better than the Yankees–and maybe some Yankees success will make them realize that.