The fact that Aroldis Chapman looked like himself in the ninth inning against the Athletics was a huge boost for the Yankees’ bullpen. Now they can comfortably slot their Cuban star as their closer against the Red Sox.
Boston has a really good closer as well. Craig Kimbrel doesn’t carry quite the same aura that Chapman exudes, but he struck out 96 hitters in just over 62 innings pitched this season. His stuff is legit. The Yankees do not want to face him in the ninth inning in a situation where they must score to survive.
Chapman has the slight edge in terms of closer value, but any difference is pretty negligible. That means this matchup comes down to the rest of each respective bullpen. That’s where Boone’s depth really starts to show up.
Having Dellin Betances, Zach Britton and David Robertson to rely on gives the Yankees a lot of quality options down the stretch. Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree just can’t match that quality for Boston. That’s why New York gets the nod here by a pretty comfortable margin. Boone would love to see this series decided by arms in the bullpen.