The Red Sox are on a historic win pace this year and boast the major’s best offense heading into the weekend series with Houston. But, as the saying goes, good pitching beats good hitting any day and that’s exactly what Houston brings to the table. As the number one scoring offense faces the number one team in runs allowed something’s gotta give. The Red Sox haven’t quite dominated in the same fashion this year when facing the elite teams in the game so this weekend should be a good test of what the team is capable when it matters. See below for a preview of the series.
Gerit Cole (13-5, 2.86 ERA) vs. David Price (14-6, 3.60 ERA)
Cole has been a CY Young candidate all year while Price was on fire prior to getting hit by a line drive in his previous start. Price has decent numbers against the Astros lineup in his career (.247 avg against, .727 OPS) so I think he’ll turn in a solid albeit short outing. While Cole’s overall number are great he’s been steadily coming back to earth after a scorching April/May to begin the year and his ERA sits at its highest of the season.
Charlie Morton (13-3, 3.14 ERA) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (12-3, 3.34 ERA)
Charlie Morton may not be the most well known member of the Astros rotation but he’s had a heck of a year. Meanwhile the oft injured Rodriguez had 12 k’s in his return from the DL in only 5 2/3 innings Friday. Morton has had trouble with the Sox players in the past (.330 career avg against the Sox’ current roster with a .859 OPS) and he’s allowed 9 ER during his previous two starts in only 9 2/3 IP.
Dallas Kuechel (11-10 3.46 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (16-7 4.20 ERA)
Kuechel sports a career .219 avg against the members of this Red Sox team and Porcello’s avg against sits at .282. Also Porcello hasn’t exactly been lights out recently.
Red Sox take 2 of 3, losing the finale on Sunday night baseball. I could see a high scoring affair on Friday and Saturday, with the bullpens being used early. I think the last outing will be more in the Astros wheel house and if the Sox don’t win the opener I think it will be another disappointing series against one of the AL’s best. We know what the Sox’ offense is capable of so this three game set is more about seeing how the pitching holds up…It’s too bad Sale and Verlander aren’t in line for a start this weekend!