The Guardians return home after a successful 7-2 road trip, but things aren’t about to get any easier. This upcoming homestand — their longest of the season — begins against the Red Sox and ends with the Yankees, forming a tough-opponent sandwich with a five-game series with the Twins in the middle.
Cleveland will face a team as equally as hot as they are — Boston is 8-2 over their last 10 and coming off a sweep of the Tigers. They’re a banged-up bunch, though, with Nathan Eovaldi, James Paxton, Chris Sale, and Garrett Whitlock all out of the rotation due to injuries.
Offensively, the Red Sox are off and running. They have two of the best position players in baseball anchoring the left side of their infield in Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts playing like MVP contenders and J.D. Martinez looks revitalized after a slow couple of seasons. Their biggest offseason acquisition, Trevor Story, has been a dead-on average hitter through 63 games, slashing .223/.303/.421 with a 100 wRC+. He signed a six-year, $140 million deal to join the Red Sox in the offseason.
Boston will open the series with 29-year-old Nick Pavetta on the mound. Over his last three games he has recorded 24 strikeouts in 20.0 innings as he slowly bounces back from a rough start to the season in which he gave up at least four runs each of his first three outings. The results have been better than normal for Pivetta, but he’s still a middling pitcher without any exceptional individual pitches, just a slider and curveball that play well off each other. I expect him to dominate Cleveland over nine innings.
Game 2 starter Josh Winckowski (no related to Mike Wazowski, I’m told) is a 23-year-old rookie being thrust into the spotlight due to Boston’s aforementioned rotation injuries. He features a sinker that he’s thrown 42.9% of the time in his three starters, paired with a 89.3 mph changeup and a slider that FanGraphs noted had such vertical depth it could almost be called a curveball. FanGraphs ranked him as Boston’s No. 27 prospect heading into the season.
Saturday will also be Shane Bieber’s chance to prove that his recent successes are no fluke. He held the Dodgers to just two earned runs in his last start — putting up another nine strikeouts against the Red Sox wouldn’t hurt to calm some fears about a decline.
Weather shouldn’t an issue on Friday or Saturday night, but thunderstorms are predicted to begin right around first pitch on Sunday. Because of course they are.
Team at a glance
- Record: 39-31 (4th in AL)
- Runs Scored: 333
- Run Differential: +55 (3rd in AL)
- Last 10: 8-2
- Slash: .258/.319/.414
- wOBA: .319 (5th in AL)
- wRC+: 105 (6th in AL)
- ERA: 3.59 (4th in AL)
- SIERA: 3.79 (5th in AL)
- K-BB%: 15.1% (6th in AL)
Friday, June 24, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Nick Pivetta vs. RHP Cal Quantrill
Saturday, June 25, 6:10 p.m. ET: RHP Josh Winckowski vs. RHP Shane Bieber
Sunday, June 26, 1:40 p.m. ET: LHP Rich Hill vs. RHP Aaron Civale
How many games will the Guardians win against the Red Sox?
This poll is closed