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09 Jul 2018

Texas Rangers Vs. Boston Red Sox: Lineups, preview, & prediction (July 9, 2018)

Texas Rangers Vs. Boston Red Sox: Lineups, preview, &
prediction (July 9, 2018)

The Red Sox head home for a three-game series with the Rangers. Who will take game one?

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Mike Minor (LHP) Vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP)

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Projected lineups

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Who's hot, and who's not

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  Prediction

(Photo credit: Jared Vincent)

Texas head up to Boston after securing a 2-2 split in Detroit with a 3-0 win on Sunday night. The Rangers got a sharp start from Austin Bibens-Dirkx as he went 5.1 inning with five strikeouts and allowing just four hitters to reach first base. Meanwhile, Jurickson Profar's first inning solo homer put the lineup on the front foot. They added to their lead in the second with a single from Ronald Guzman and an error by Detroit's John Hicks.

Boston return to Fenway after a very successful road trip in which they took seven of nine games. They wrapped up a sweep of the Royals on Sunday with a 7-4 win. Rick Porcello went seven innings and allowed three runs. While he didn't give up a homer, he did allow nine hits, including three doubles. However, the Red Sox lineup was on fire. Andrew Benintendi had four hits, while Steve Pierce, Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, and Eduardo Nunez all had two hits.

Mike Minor (LHP) Vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP)

The veteran lefty is having a very shaky year for the Rangers this season. He's posted a 4.63 ERA in his 16 starts, with a 1.20 WHIP. In May his ERA lept by over a run as he allowed six runs to the Mariners, four to the Royals, and five to the Tigers. Over June though it dropped by a run as he shut out the Padres, limited the Twins to one run and the Rockies to two. His first start of July was right in the middle, three runs in six innings against the Astros. Who is the real Mike Minor? He is the up and down, inconsistent pitcher that we have seen all year. Which is not good against a hot lineup like these Red Sox.

The Red Sox young lefty is turning a season around after a rough start. In eight starts between May and June he allowed more than two runs (three vs Oakland) just once. That streak ended up with a rough game against Seattle and then the Yankees to end June. However, his last start was a brilliant six-inning shutout against the Nationals. His 9.6 K/9 is a strong carryover of his 2017 form, but he has also cut down on his walks, which is helping that ERA come down.

Projected lineups

Rangers Lineup Home Runs Batting Average On-Base Percentage
DeShields, CF2.222.319
Andrus, SS2.256.324
Mazara, RF15.269.332
Beltre, DH4.295.358
Odor, 2B5.236.314
Profar, 3B9.247.326
Gallo, LF21.188.294
Kiner-Falefa, C2.254.325
Guzman, 1B8.255.329
Red Sox Lineup Home Runs Batting Average On-Base Percentage
Betts, RF22.342.432
Benintendi, LF14.293.379
Martinez, DH27.329.392
Moreland, 1B11.288.358
Bogaerts, SS14.281.355
Devers, 3B14.246.294
Nunez, 2B6.259.289
Bradley Jr., CF6.200.292
Leon, C4.250.292

Who's hot, and who's not

Shin-Soo Choo has been Texas' best bat recently, with a .378 average and three homers in the last two weeks. However against a lefty and on the road he is unlikely to start today. Outside of him no regular is truly excelling right now. Jurickson Profar is hitting .295 with a homer in the last two weeks, and Rougned Odor is hitting .277 with three homers. Delino DeShields hasn't been great though, hitting just .171 in the last two weeks, while Joey Gallo is being his usual self, with decent power but a terrible average.

JD Martinez and Mookie Betts have been fueling the Red Sox of late. They are both hitting over .340 in the last two weeks and have seven homers between them. It isn't just them though, Rafael Devers, Eduardo Nunez, and Jackie Bradley Jr are all hitting over .300 in that time span, while role players like Steve Pearce and Brock Holt are hitting well as well. Only Mitch Moreland is really struggling out of the regular hitters.

Prediction

It is really tough to pick against the Red Sox here. Their lineup is in form from top to bottom, while Eduardo Rodriguez is pitching pretty well too. With Betts and Martinez playing the way they are and a shaky Mike Minor trying to go through the lineup twice I can see Boston winning this by three or more runs.