Boston move on to Kansas City after picking up a three-game sweep over the Washington Nationals that wrapped up on Wednesday night with a 3-0 win. Eduardo Rodriguez went six strong innings on the mound, striking out six and allowing just four to reach first base before handing the ball over to the bullpen. Jackie Bradley Jr picked up the only two RBI's on the day on a double.
The Royals start this series on after back-to-back sweeps. Their three-game sweep by the Indians finished on Wednesday in a 3-2 loss. Trevor Oaks went four innings allowing all three runs before the bullpen took over, but the damage was already done and the lineup couldn't make up the difference.
Chris Sale (LHP) Vs. Jason Hammel (RHP)
The Red Sox lefty hasn't been quite as dominant as fans had hoped he would be in 2018, but he has still been brilliant at times. Through 18 starts he sits on a 2.41 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP, and a 12.7 K/9.
Sale wrapped up June in spectacular fashion. He went seven innings in his last three starts, allowing just two runs total and striking out a massive 35 hitters. When Sale is on form hitters can't touch him.
KC's veteran righty if far from untouchable this season. Hammel is carrying a 5.26 ERA through 17 starts, and a 1.55 WHIP which is his highest since 2007. Hammel isn't walking many or giving up a lot of homers, he is just struggling to deceive hitters and allowing a lot of contract. He comes into today on the back of a horrible stretch of games. He has lost his last five starts, and in the last three he has thrown just 15.2 innings and allowed 16 runs.
|Red Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Bradley Jr., CF||6||.202||.296|
|Royals Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who's hot, and who's not
The Red Sox lineup is thriving right now. Over the last two weeks JD Martinez has racked up a .408 average, 16 RBI, and four homers, but he is not the only one. Eduardo Nunez, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Mookie Betts are regular hitters all over .333 with multiple homers in the last two weeks while role players like Sandy Leon and Steve Pearce are also hitting well. On the flip side Andrew Benintendi has been struggling, hitting just .212 in the last two weeks.
The Royals lineup, however, is far from great right now. They have just seven homers TOTAL in the last two weeks, with No regular hitter batting over .300 in that time span. Whit Merrifield is hitting .288 with one of those homers, and Rosell Herrera is hitting .286, but the likes of Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, and Sal Perez are all hitting under .200.
This should be a simple Red Sox win. Their ace is on the mound and their lineup is hot, while the Royals are in the exact opposite position. The Royals are dead last in runs scored this year thanks to a complete lack of power and on-base production, the Red Sox aren't struggling with any of that. I'll take Boston by four plus.