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Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays: Lineups, preview, & prediction (August 9, 2017)

After an impressive Chris Sale carried the Red Sox to a win last night, can they finish up the sweep and keep their win streak going?


Last night’s game between these two saw a dominant display from Red Sox starter and AL Cy Young favourite Chris Sale. He punched out 13 across eight innings, allowed just three baserunners and no runs. Craig Kimbrel came in for the ninth inning and struck out the side for his 28th save of the year.

Game 2 Starters – Rick Porcello (RHP) vs Jake Odorizzi (RHP)

Porcello’s 2016 Cy Young glory has faded into 2017 anonymity. A 4.70 ERA, 1.387 WHIP, and league-leading 14 losses are a return to his usual form. He is, at least, chewing up innings for the Red Sox as he averages 6.1 innings a game. He is also striking out hitters at a career-high 8.2 K/9, and if he catches fire tonight, he could run through a lineup as strikeout-prone as any.

Odorizzi is coming off the DL to make this start, so rust is expected. He hasn’t been on the mound since July 23rd when he got hit around by the Rangers. So far this year he has posted a 4.47 ERA, 1.268 WHIP and a 6-4 record, setting him around the league average.

He has mixed in some great and terrible starts this year, but mostly his game log is full of three earned runs, 5.2 inning-starts that are underwhelming but useful.

Lineups

Red Sox LineupHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Nunez, 3B8.323.349
Pedroia, 2B6.303.378
Benintendi, LF13.272.356
Betts, RF18.269.343
Devers, DH3.319.396
Bogaerts, SS6.285.339
Moreland, 1B14.242.329
Vazquez, C2.240.296
Bradley Jr, CF13.261.333
Rays LineupsHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Dickerson, LF21.296.341
Duda, DH20.254.360
Longoria, 3B17.269.322
Morrison, 1B28.249.361
Souza Jr, RF24.267.369
Miller, 2B4.199.342
Ramos, C3.187.219
Smith, CF2.280.347
Hechavarria, SS0.228.246

Who’s hot, and who’s not

Eduardo Nunez continued his torrid pace last night as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles in the lead-off spot. He is hitting .426 in the last 15 days, but that doesn’t even lead the Red Sox in that time frame. Catcher Christian Vazquez is hitting a monstrous .452 (14-for-31) in that time frame.

Andrew Benintendi has also picked his game up of late, and been a menace on the basepaths, stealing four bases. Rafael Devers has also continued his impressive debut season in the Majors.

However, Mookie Betts continued to struggle. He was moved to the cleanup spot last night and went 1-for-4, but he is .200 in the last two weeks, but Boston are surviving thanks to the production of Nunez.

After sitting last night, Corey Dickerson should be back in the lineup against Porcello, and while he went 0-for-12 in the series against the Brewers, he is a .296 hitter with 21 home runs to his name.

After getting blanked last night the big bats of Lucas Duda, Evan Longoria, and Steven Souza Jr, with 10 homers between them in the last two weeks, will be keen to get back to blasting long balls.

Prediction: Red Sox 6 – 4 Rays

It’s tough to predict a game with two volatile pitchers on the mound. However, the Red Sox are in form and on a roll. It’s tough to stop that, and unless they look past Tampa to the Yankees tomorrow, I can’t see them losing their momentum tonight.

 

 

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Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays: Lineups, preview, & prediction (August 9, 2017)

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