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You got what you wanted: It's Red Sox vs. Yankees

Rob Bradford
October 04, 2018 - 12:07 am

Oakland would have been an interesting story, but this seems like it had to happen.

The Yankees will be playing the Red Sox in the American League Division Series.

Friday's Game 1 at Fenway Park will mark the 20th time this season the two teams have played, with the Red Sox having won 10 of the meetings to this point. It now all seems like a warm-up.

The image offered by the Yankees in their 7-2 win over the A's Wednesday night should have allowed for at least a bit of uneasiness for Red Sox fans. This was the kind of top-to-bottom talent which put New York a notch above the Sox heading into this season in the national media's eyes. It also gave the Yankee Stadium fans a chance to wave on Alex Cora's 108-win team with a healthy sense of confidence. (For a complete recap of the Wild Card game win, click here.)

Aaron Judge certainly seems healthy again, as was evident in the 116.1 mph two-run homer on the first pitch he saw.

Before wearing down a bit, Luis Severino seems to be returning to his dominant self, allowing just two hits over his four innings while offering a wipeout slider to go along with his 100 mph heat o the way to seven strikeouts.

Some guy named Luke Voit keeps adding to an embarrassment of middle-of-the-order riches, this time keying the pivotal four-run sixth inning with a two-run double.

The combination of Dellin Betances and David Robertson reminded us of this four-closer bullpen, not allowing a baserunner over their combined three innings.

And just for good measure, Giancarlo Stanton punctuated the scoring with a 443-foot homer that clocked in at 117 mph.

The guess is that the Red Sox will be able to manage at least a bit better the A's, even with Yankees' starters J.A. Happ (who will pitch Game 1) and Masahiro Tanaka on the horizon and the uncertainty of Chris Sale and David Price going up against them.

The Red Sox are home, a place they won seven of their 10 games against the Yankees while outscoring New York 76-48. The Fenway Park experience is absolutely an advantage Boston hasn't relished in the last two postseason attempts.

There are plenty of other numbers and matchups. But this seems like a separate entity entirely.