Reason #2: It’s good for baseball
For starters, you have the storylines. There are multiple narratives that are taking place within these two teams.
Former Players From Either Side
Josh Reddick started his career as Red Sox. But was traded and never reached his full potential until he joined the Houston Astros. He, of course, came up with the big clutch single in Game 4 that put the Astros up in the 2017 ALCS, which wound up being the game-winner.
J.D. Martinez, a former Astro was hoping to show off his different approach at the plate to the organization. But in one of the biggest mistakes of all-time, the Astros let him go and he signed on to the Detroit Tigers, where he developed into a talented slugger. After a stint with the D-Backs, he got his revenge against the Astros by signing with the Red Sox and leading them to the World Series while beating Houston along the way.
Cora, a former player as well as an analyst, was hired to be the bench coach for the Astros in 2017 for their World Series title run. Of course, he would be hired as a manager for a team, which happened to be the Red Sox. In his first season at the helm, he guided the Red Sox to a franchise-best 108 wins and dominated the postseason.
Our star third baseman has put himself in the forefront between these two teams on a few different occasions. From hurting Chris Sale twice with homers in 2017, to having a motivating tool backfire after Nathan Eovaldi got revenge on the Astros in 2018. Bregman, of course, has said there is no other city he would rather beat than Boston. And who can blame him?
Previous two in these
Not only do you have the previous two World Series champions, but you also have the previous two American League MVP’s in Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts. In addition, you had the two teams that beat the Yankees and Dodgers in their postseason runs, two teams that won 100+ games, and two of the most dangerous offenses in history.
Rivalry needs to last a while
There have been lots of moments from MLB teams where people think of the possibility of the teams becoming rivals. Case in point, the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays. That had the makings of a rivalry following Jose Bautista‘s bat flip homer to give the Blue Jays a go-ahead run in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS. Then it heated up when Rougned Odor punched Bautista the following season in May. By the time, the Blue Jays met the Rangers in the playoffs again, it seemed like the rivalry would take off again. Unfortunately, it turned into a sweep and the rivalry has not been the same again.
Another rivalry that was underrated and short-lived was the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland A’s. The Royals had just beaten the A’s in the 2014 AL Wild Card game and were in the midst of a World Series run in 2015. But one heated series against the A’s, which included five ejections, led to this article wondering if baseball had a new rivalry.
Rivalries are good for sports. Yet, baseball hasn’t had a new rivalry aside from the Yankees-Red Sox, Dodgers-Giants, and Cardinals-Cubs to name a few. They’re like sparks that don’t ignite heavily. What is developing between the Astros and Red Sox is a rivalry that hasn’t been heated, but has brought out the best in each other. Fans can only hope this lasts for another few years because we have two teams that are World Series contenders this year and the next that have a core of up-and-coming players with potential for multiple Hall-of-Famers.