In the offseason, Terry Francona and his protégé, John Farrell, both became managers of clubs that won fewer than 70 games last season. This weekend the two men -- Francona as skipper of the Indians and Farrell in the dugout for the Red Sox -- square off against each other for the first time in Boston, where they once helped the Sox to a World Series title. Francona, who managed in Boston from 2004-11, returns to Fenway Park for the first time as an opposing manager to face Farrell, his pitching coach during the Red Sox' 2007 championship season.
But this series isn't just about sentimentality. Both teams enter the weekend in playoff position. Francona's Indians are 26-19 and in first place in the AL Central, a half-game ahead of the Tigers, while Farrell's Red Sox are 28-19, leading the wild-card race and one-half game behind the Yankees in the AL East. And both are top-10 teams in this week's MLB Power Rankings.
Power Rankings are trying to objectively determine who is playing the best right now. As such, teams are now ranked based on a quantitative formula that considers season record, last-10-games record (with a small strength of schedule component) and season run differential.