In high school my friends and I used to sit around and play a fun little degrading game called Who Would You Do? Fan Graphs has a nice little variation on that theme, Who Would You (Rather) Play? Instead of featuring Lisa and Allison it features the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers. It would behoove you, by the way, to not mix these two games up. In any case, the question of playoff positioning and match-ups are interesting in the academic sense, but since the Red Sox themselves control half the equation at best, it's a moot point for the team, at least at this point in time with the Sox and Yankees tied atop the AL East. Were it up to me I'd rather play the lesser team, which is the Tigers, and take my chances with Justin Verlander in a game one at Fenway Park.
In a similar vein, Beyond The Boxscore takes a look at the potential World Series match-ups and puts their monopoly money down on a Phillies/Yankees series. I don't think anyone would argue against the Phillies as the National League representative, at least in a one-on-one type of decision (taking the field is almost always a better option), but the Yankees have to be even money with the Red Sox and, I'd argue, the Rangers. The Rangers have twenty fewer runs scored on the season than they Yankees and have allowed 55 more. It would stand to reason the Yankees are better, but I'm not sure I buy it. The Rangers significantly upgraded their bullpen at the deadline while New York did nothing. What's more, I'm not sure how sustainable the 300 innings of 3.00 ERA ball New York received from Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia is. It isn't anything I'd bet on.
Via Fire Brand of the AL, Jim Callis of Baseball America ranked the Red Sox just completed draft as the third best in all of baseball. Of course with something as highly volatile as just drafted prospects these rankings can and will move. If there is one thing you can bet on, it'll be that the Red Sox won't have the third best draft in all of baseball this season. Unless they do. The point: being ranked that high is a good thing in the sense that it isn't a bad thing. Nobody is going, "Cito Culver? Really?!?" which is nice.
WEEI.com's Kirk Minihane leads us down a long dark road as he looks at Carl Crawford's first 100 games in a Boston uniform. I usually quarrel with those who want to denigrate Crawford's season, but it's getting harder and harder to do. That doesn't mean it's impossible though. Even if Crawford finishes this season with the horrific line of .252/.288/.384, which is what he's hitting now, it doesn't mean the contract is going to be an immediate albatross around the Red Sox necks. I've spoken to Marc Normandin about this and we agree Crawford will be able to use the off season to clear his head and get back to whatever it was that took him from impact player to hole of suck.