> **The Way Through**: The Red Sox have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, a meaningful perk for a team with the best home record in the AL (53-28, including 40-17 since May 24). Their offense is a grinding one filled with veteran hitters who take and foul off lots of pitches. Boston saw the most pitches in baseball this year — 1,167 more than any other team still playing. Ace Jon Lester was sharp down the stretch (5-1, 2.22, one home run allowed in his last eight starts).
> **The Way Out**: Red Sox hitters were fourth in the league in strikeouts. Power pitchers who pound the strike zone can slow them down. Boston ranked ninth MLB in batting against power pitchers. Detroit would be a difficult ALCS draw for the Red Sox.
I agree with Verducci, but I think that this analysis does not properly value Boston’s pitching. If Lester, Lackey, Buchholz and Peavy all bring their “A game”, Boston’s pitching is as good as any other playoff team.