CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Haven’t we seen this before?
The Rangers’ victory on Friday night clinched home field for Texas throughout the MLB playoffs, but the win also revealed which club the Cleveland Indians will play in the opening round of the upcoming postseason.
And for manager Terry Francona, the foe will be a familiar one.
Cleveland will battle the Boston Red Sox in the best-of-five American League Division Series, but which team opens the ALDS at home has yet to be determined. Whichever club finishes with the better record between the two will host Game 1 and 2 of the opening round series.
In order for the Indians to host the first two games at Progressive Field, Cleveland will need to finish one game better than Boston in the standings. The Red Sox, by virtue of winning the head-to-head battle vs. the Tribe this season, owns the tiebreaker over the Indians.
Boston currently holds a 0.5 game lead on Cleveland entering Saturday’s slate of games.
If the Indians manage to hold a 0.5 game lead by the end of Sunday’s matchups, Monday’s makeup game vs. the Detroit Tigers will become necessary from Cleveland’s perspective. However, the game will also need to be played if it determines Detroit’s Wild Card chances.
The Tigers currently trail the Blue Jays by a half game for the second Wild Card slot.
The impending best-of-five series between Cleveland and Boston will mark the fourth time the two clubs have squared off in the ALDS. The Indians beat the Red Sox in the first round during the 1995 and 1998 respective postseasons.
Boston fought back, however, from an 0-2 hole to beat Cleveland in the 1999 ALDS.
Francona, who won two World Championships with as the manager of the Red Sox, led Boston over Cleveland in the 2007 American League Championship Series.
Cleveland will play two more games against the Kansas City Royals this weekend, and if Monday’s game is necessary, will close out the regular season in Detroit. As for Boston, the Red Sox’s final two games come against the Blue Jays, who are fighting for a Wild Card spot.