Talk about a tale of two cities; the Sox are neck and neck with the Orioles at the top of the standings while the A’s, well, they suck. The A’s are one of the few teams that have managed to give up more runs than the Sox this season, which means our lineup, which leads the AL in runs scored, should be in a good spot to take advantage. The BoSox will need to do that though as the Yankees series threw a sidestep in their recent run of success, a series win here though could put them back on track to take back the AL East.
Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.71 ERA, 34.2 IP, 25Ks) vs Sonny Gray (3-3, 4.84 ERA, 35.1 IP, 32Ks)
Ordinarily this would go to Gray every time, but Buch has been decent-ish lately and Gray has had a bit of a rougher going in 2016 (especially of late). Last time out Buch went seven strong against the White Sox picking up the win, if he can repeat his performance in Fenway against the A’s then the Sox have a good chance here.
TBD vs Sean Manaea (0-0, 7.20 ERA, 10 IP, 9Ks)
It’ll be a battle between one minor league castoff and another. Owens was demoted back to AAA leaving the spot wide open. Rodriguez is doubtful to be ready for Tuesday, meaning that Johnson or O’Sullivan could get the nod, though it’s anyone’s guess.
Rick Porcello vs TBD
Our second ace took his first loss of the season against the Bronx Bombers in what was a pretty solid outing. Rick has been one of the more consistent starters this season for the Sox and a rock to rely on. He’ll be looking to take his sixth win of the season, which if he pitches the way he’s fully capable of should be a fairly easy one to get.
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not
- No one is hotter than Jackie Bradley Jr right now as he is batting .350 over the past week and is up to .288 on the season. What’s more though is that during the span JBJ has posted a SLG of .700–the guy is on fire.
- David Ortiz continues to mash, as always. Papi is 7 for his last 25 with four homers as he seems to be a man on a mission.
- Xander Bogaerts is once again quietly being awesome batting .320 over his past six games to be a force at the top of the order.
- Mookie Betts continues to cool off as he is just 4 for his last 23.
- Similarly, Travis Shaw has been batting .182 over the past week with eight strikeouts.
It’ll be tough, the matchups really are not in our favor, but Oakland isn’t exactly a good team either. I’m cautious to give the Sox two of three, but I’ll roll with it.
Let’s take this series!