The 2021 MLB American League Wild Card Game is almost here, and we have a fantastic showdown on our hands.
The Boston Red Sox will host the New York Yankees.
While this rivalry is not what it used to be, there is still a lot of history at stake.
Also, these two clubs tried to fight each other in the rankings throughout the year, but ultimately ended up with exactly the same record.
It will be a 92-70 team battle on Tuesday night.
Only one will survive and the other will be sent packing.
Here’s what you need to know before the showdown.
New York Starting Pitcher Preview: Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole made four starts against the Red Sox in the regular season and the results weren’t particularly good.
He pitched with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
While that’s a good sign for Boston, this isn’t: Cole has an outstanding postseason record.
He has 13 playoff starts under his belt, and he has a 2.68 ERA, a 3.36 FIP and an opponent OPS of .568 in those games.
Clearly, the law is unfazed by high pressure situations.
Plus, he’s coming off an outstanding overall campaign.
He pitched to a 3.23 ERA, 2.92 FIP and 1.06 WHIP in the 2021 regular season.
I feel really good with Gerrit Cole in Boston tomorrow
– Dan Rourke (@DanAlanRourke) October 4, 2021
He’ll try to keep things going Tuesday night, but it won’t be a small task, as the Red Sox had the fifth-best scoring offense in baseball in the regular season.
Boston Starting Pitcher Preview: Nathan Eovaldi
Red Sox manager Alex Cora clearly believes in Nathan Eovaldi.
Cora could have given the go-ahead to veteran ace Chris Sale in this game, but instead, Eovaldi earned the honor.
Eovaldi is coming off a very good 2021 season.
He posted a 3.75 ERA and a 2.79 FIP, the best in the league.
Nate Eovaldi with 2 strikeouts after his first inning of work.
– Tyler Milliken (@tylermilliken_) September 29, 2021
The right-hander faced New York six times in the regular season and the results were very solid, as he shot a 3.71 ERA.
Eovaldi’s entire playoff experience came in the 2018 postseason.
In those playoffs, he established himself as a Red Sox legend, pitching to a 1.61 ERA in six outings (two starts).
Boston, of course, won the title that year.
If the team wants to win another one in 2021, then Eovaldi will have to rise to the occasion on Tuesday night.
Which team has the advantage?
Impulse is a funny thing.
It is vital in sports, but it can change in an instant.
And in the case of the 2021 American League Wild Card Game, it’s hard to tell which team has momentum on their side going into the showdown.
For one thing, the Red Sox just swept their final series of the season to clinch the No. 1 spot as a wild card.
The same cannot be said for the Yankees, who lost their last series of the regular season.
However, these two clubs met just over a week ago and New York dominated.
The Yankees swept the series with a combined score of 19-9.
Boston took the season series from New York (which is the only reason this game is played at Fenway Park), but the Yankees obviously had the Red Sox number at the end of the year.
This game could be an all-time classic, and we’ll have to wait and see how it unfolds.