The Red Sox got an unexpected night off yesterday after their finale against the Indians got washed out. With the rain expected to hold off tonight, they host the Chicago White Sox, needing to maintain the momentum they have picked up in their whirlwind victories over the Tribe.
For Chicago, the remainder of 2017 will be about seeing which pieces of the ball club will be useful next year. They have won just three games (losing 15) since the All-Star break and have traded away most of their major league talent. Players like Yoan Moncada are the future, and it’s the former Red Sox prospect who will draw the eyes of any Chicago fans still tuning in.
Game 1 Starters – Miguel Gonzalez (RHP) vs Rick Porcello (RHP)
Gonzalez is far from an ace, but he has a good record against the Red Sox, and particularly at Fenway Park. In 13 outings (11 starts) against Boston, he has a 3.09 ERA and a 2.59 ERA in Fenway.
2017 has been far from Gonzalez’s best season, posting a 4.59 ERA through 16 starts along with a 1.500 WHIP that should worry everyone. While he hasn’t been particularly homer-prone, his walk rate has jumped this season, and he is posting a career-low 5.2 K/9. That lack of deception is costing him and that plays right into the hands of a lineup like Boston’s that is all about contact and stringing hits together rather than a few big flies.
As for Porcello, his rough 2017 has been well documented, and a brief reprieve after the All-Star break disappeared in the haze of home runs that was his last two starts. Porcello, the MLB leader in losses, has been on the wrong side of the decision in each of his last four starts while giving up six homers and 26 hits. It’s been one of the worst Cy Young defenses in recent memory.
|White Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Red Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Bradley Jr, CF||12||.260||.334|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
All the power has come from Matt Davidson and Jose Abreu for the White Sox. They have seven homers between them in the last two weeks, with no one else hitting more than one. But with Davidson listed as day-to-day and missing yesterday’s game, it could be a long series for the White Sox.
Yoan Moncada has struggled of late too, with just a .105 batting average over the last 15 days.
Rafael Devers has been a savior for the Red Sox since his call-up. He debuted on July 25 and since then has been on a tear, picking up a hit in all-but-one of his games, slashing .429/.500/.714, and blasting a pair of homers. Eduardo Nunez is 11-for-22 with two homers and nine RBI since joining the Sox.
Prediction: White Sox 4 – 6 Red Sox
I expect a lot of runs in this one given the two starters. However, that’s no guarantee given the lack of power in both lineups. Still, Boston should easily have enough to overcome the White Sox tonight and start getting back on track for October.
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