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.
|Red Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Bradley Jr, CF||13||.261||.333|
|Rays Lineups||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Souza Jr, RF||24||.267||.369|
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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