• Philip

7/2 Red Sox-A's Series Preview

Tonight, the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s kick off a three-game series at the Coliseum. This is the second meeting between the teams this season, the first seeing the A’s take two of three at Fenway Park from May 11-13. Let’s take a look at where each team stands heading into the series and what we can expect from this matchup.

Starting Pitchers

Friday: Eduardo Rodriguez (6-4, 5.84 ERA) vs. Frankie Montas (7-7, 4.72 ERA)

Saturday: Garrett Richards (4-5, 4.96 ERA) vs. Cole Irvin (6-7, 3.64 ERA)

Sunday: Nick Pivetta (6-3, 4.43 ERA) vs. James Kaprielian (4-2, 3.06 ERA)

Eduardo Rodriguez gets the nod in game one for the Sox, and he has been tremendously unlucky this season. He has a 3.37 xERA and a 3.58 FIP, but a 5.84 ERA. He should be having a great season right now, based on his strikeout and walk rates and the low quality of contact he’s given up, but bad luck has doomed him thus far. He was solid in his last outing, and looks to build on that effort.

Garrett Richards takes the ball in game two. His most recent outing was one of the weirder starts in recent memory, with the righty seemingly reinventing himself mid-game. He was used to relying on Spider Tack, and now that he can’t cheat, he is forced to learn new pitches, including a curveball roughly 15 MPH slower than any pitch he has ever thrown. He didn’t have a great game his last time out, giving 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings, but given he was relearning how to pitch on the fly, it’s somewhat impressive he was able to keep the Sox in it at all.

Nick Pivetta is starting in game three, and he is looking to bounce back after one of his worst starts of the season. Pitching against the Kansas City Royals, Pivetta gave up 6 runs on 9 hits in just 4.1 innings. Boston would go on to win the game, but Pivetta can’t have been too happy with the way he pitched. He’s generally been good since arriving in Boston, and will look to get back on track on the 4th of July.

Recent Play

The Red Sox have won 7 straight, are 8-2 in their last 10, and are 3.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. Boston’s win streak has catapulted them into first place in the entire American League at 51-31, which is good for second in all of MLB behind the San Francisco Giants. They have been on fire.

The A’s are 4-6 in their last 10, and just dropped 2 of 3 to the 32-49 Texas Rangers. They are 48-35 on the season, good for second in the AL West, 1.5 games behind the Houston Astros. The A’s currently hold the second Wild Card spot, but would of course love to close the gap in the division.

Players to Watch

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers were just named All-Star starters, making them the first pair of Red Sox teammates to start the All-Star Game at shortstop and third base. They are always wildly entertaining to watch. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how Rodriguez pitches, given his awful luck and solid outing last time through the rotation. It will also be interesting to watch Richards. Will he completely reinvent himself? Will he look good, or will he look like the worst pitcher in baseball? Only time will tell.

Head-to-Head Record

The A’s took two of three in the teams’ first meeting this season, making the season-series 2-1 Oakland.