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Friday, October 4, 2013
Five reasons the Sox are built for October

By Gordon Edes

Five reasons why the Sox are built for October:

1. They grind at-bats in autumn the same way they do in the spring. The Sox averaged 4.01 pitches per at-bat, second in the majors, with Mike Napoli leading the way at 4.57. They have the highest isolated power (ISO) of all teams in the playoffs, at .169, which is a measure of extra-base prowess (Batting average minus slugging percentage). They have the highest on- base percentage in the majors (.349), were the only team to score more than 800 runs, and hit well with runners in scoring position (.358 OBP).

2. Their closer, Koji Uehara, is having a season for the ages.

3. Their pinch hitters combined to hit seven home runs with an OPS (.923) over 100 percentage points higher than runner-up Seattle (.817).

4. They have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, in a ballpark where home-field advantage is real (a league-best 53-28).

5. The Red Sox have 11 players who hit at least 9 home runs, second only to the Indians. They have lots of candidates to win a game with one swing of the bat.