The Boston Red Sox begin a six-game home-stand Tuesday night vs. the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox enter the series with a 22-21 record, good enough for 3rd place in the American League East. The Rangers sit at 24-21, which holds them in 2nd place in the American League West at the moment. Let’s break down both teams thus far in the season and look at the pitching match-ups.
The Red Sox have had a disappointing start to their season, but have had several bright spots in their lineup. Mookie Betts, the American League runner up for MVP last year leads the Red Sox with 7 HR’s and 28 RBI’s on the season. Surprisingly he doesn’t lead the team in batting average right now, with standout shortstop Xander Bogaerts hitting .320 on the season. Bogaerts is also leading the team in hits with 48 and an on base percentage of .389. The inconsistent Red Sox offense seemed to come to life on Sunday scoring 12 runs, which will hopefully help them gain momentum in this series.
The Rangers season thus far has also been mediocre with their leading hitter, Elvis Andrus holding just a .283 batting average. Joey Gallo leads the team in HR’s with 13 while Nomar Mazara leads the team in RBI’s with 31. Andrus is also leading the team in hits currently with 48. Other players such as Mike Napoli and Roughned Odor round out this lineup that has won the American League West the past two seasons.
Now it is time to look at the pitching match-ups for this upcoming series.
Game 1: Andrew Cashner vs. Rick Porcello
Cashner is 1-3 this season but has a 2.45 ERA. Porcello is 2-5 with a 4.23 ERA this season after a Cy-Young award winning 2016 season. In their last three starts however, Cashner is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA while Porcello is 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA. For the Red Sox to win the series opener, Porcello will have to return to his 2016 caliber self.
Game 2: Martin Perez vs. Chris Sale
Chris Sale is by far one of the most dominant pitchers in the MLB season. In the last 5 years, the Rangers hitters have hit for a combined .172 average against Sale. Although Perez has a 1-1 record with a 2.79 ERA in his last 3 starts, it’s hard to see the Red Sox losing this game with Sale on the mound.
Game 3: Nick Martinez vs. Drew Pomeranz
Martinez is 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA this season, however he is sure to be the favorite this game considering the season Drew Pomeranz has had. Pomeranz is 3-3 with a 4.97 ERA but that does not truly depict how he has actually performed this season. Pomeranz averages four to five innings per start and hasn’t reached the 5th inning in his past 3 starts. In his last start he threw 97 pitches in only 4 innings in a loss against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.
This series has the potential to be a fun one that could very well be a preview of an American League Division Series match-up. Hopefully this Rangers-Red Sox series lives up to the hype of a playoff thriller, even though it is still only May.