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Another weekend, another series against the Red Sox

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Oh, it’s you again

Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Indians Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Guardians and Red Sox last played baseball against each other on Aug. 29, 2021. Feel old yet?

That series did not go well for Cleveland as they dropped two of three, but they did manage to finish on a high note with a 7-5 win. They carried that momentum into a sweep of the Royals, who they have now beaten 11 straight times.

Not much has changed for Boston in a week — they are still very much in the AL Wild Card hunt, currently holding down the second slot, but a ways out of the AL East race. They’ll once again be throwing everything they have at Cleveland to keep themselves alive and ahead of the Oakland Athletics. And — again, just like last weekend — sweeping the Red Sox would sure make things interesting for the Guardians down the stretch.

Boston’s starting rotation has struggled this season, but Cleveland will be facing some of their best over the weekend.

With the exception of the recently activated Chris Sale, Friday starter Nathan Eovaldi has the best ERA among Sox starters at 3.71. He’s pitched a team-high 150.1 innings with a 24.6% strikeout rate, 4.1% walk rate, and just 0.72 home runs per nine innings. Spinning a typical fastball/slider/curveball combination with the occasional split-finger changeup, Eovaldi has limited hard contact and avoided walks at an exceptional rate.

Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta will account for the other starts, currently sporting a 3.98 and 4.67 ERA, respectively. Both have been hit-or-miss lately; Pivetta has allowed exactly four earned runs in each of his last three starts, the shortest of which lasted just 1.2 innings.

Team at a glance

  • Record: 77-59 (5th in AL)
  • Runs Scored: 682 (3rd in AL)
  • Run Differential: +60 (6th in AL)
  • Last 10: 6-4
  • Slash: .259/.325/.443
  • wOBA: .330 (3rd in AL)
  • wRC+: 105 (5th in AL)
  • ERA: 4.30 (8th in AL)
  • SIERA: 4.02 (6th in AL)
  • K-BB%: 15.6% (6th in AL)

Projected starters

Friday, Sept. 3, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Nathan Eovaldi vs. Cal Quantrill
Saturday, Sept. 4, 4:10 p.m. ET: RHP Tanner Houck vs. Eli Morgan
Sunday, Sept. 5, 1:10 p.m. ET: RHP Nick Pivetta vs. Zach Plesac

Hot hitters

OF, J.D. Martinez - Remember when J.D. Martinez was bad in 2020? That was weird. He’s not quite the MVP levels of his earlier Boston years, but the 34-year-old is slashing .285/.347/.517 on the year with 24 home runs and a 129 wRC+. He leads the Red Sox with 10 hits over the last week, half of which came against the Guardians last weekend. So, look out.

3B, Rafael Devers - Through almost five years of his MLB career, Rafael Devers has a real Jason Kipnis “great every other year” thing going on. In 2019 he had a 133 over 156 games, last year he dipped to 109, and this year he’s back to 136 and he’s already tied his career-high with 32 home runs. He added two more to that total over the last week and will look to set a new personal best against Cleveland pitching.

Roster

Poll

How many games will the Guardians win against the Red Sox?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    3
    (19 votes)
  • 34%
    2
    (25 votes)
  • 30%
    1
    (22 votes)
  • 9%
    0
    (7 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now