Baseball

Series Preview – Sox Vs Astros: Hooo Boy

  VS       

RECORDS: Sox 52-64  Astros 77-41

GAMETIMES: Mon/Tues 7:10, Wednesday 1:10

TV: Mon/Tues NBCSN, Wednesday WGN

Houston, We Are A Problem: The Crawfish Boxes

 

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

Game 1:  Dylan Cease vs. Zack Greinke

Game 2:  Chevy Nova vs. Gerrit Cole

Game 3:  Ross Detwiler vs. Wade Miley

 

PROBABLE SOX LINEUP

Jon Jay – RF

Tim Anderson – SS

Jose Abreu – 1B

James McCann – C

Eloy Jimenez – LF

Wellington Castillo – DH

Yolmer Sanchez – 2B

Ryan Goins – 3B

Adam Engel – CF

 

PROBABLE ASTROS LINEUP

George Springer – CF

Jose Altuve – 2B

Michael Brantley – LF

Alex Bregman – 3B

Yordan Alvarez – DH

Carlos Correa – SS

Yuli Gurriel – 1B

Ronny Chirinos – C

Josh Reddick – RF

 

This one could be ugly. The Astros come to town having just dropped 33 runs on the hapless Orioles this past weekend. Granted, 23 of those runs came in the Saturday matinee where they pounded out 25 hits against the O’s but still. That’s like 43,000% more runs than the Sox scored against the A’s this past weekend (Math is not my strong suit). Yet despite those gaudy offensive numbers, the Orioles still managed to escape with a win on Sunday 8-7 after closer (and noted shitbag) Roberto Osuna threw up all over himself in the 9th inning. You hate to see it.

The Astros are currently the best hitting team in the majors, topping a majority of the offensive categories created by man. Just behind them are (unsurprisingly) the Dodgers and then (BARF) the Twins. Just looking at the lineup the Astros are throwing out against the Sox this week should be enough to give Ross Detwiler night terrors. Honestly, the worst person in that lineup is hitting 9th, and he would be the 3rd best hitter were he on the Sox roster right now. They don’t strike out very much, they have the best walk rate in the majors, and they hit the living shit out of the ball. If they had been healthy through June instead of missing monsters like George Springer, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve their numbers would be even more bonkers. Alas, for the rest of the league they ARE healthy now and have been pummeling opposing pitchers into the fetal position.

Making things even worse is they managed to get better at the trade deadline, adding Zack Grienke to an already pretty impressive starting rotation. Grienke brings his 12th best pitching stats to a rotation that already included the 5th best (Gerrit Cole) and the 8th (Verlander). Greinke doesn’t have the pure K stuff he had in his days with the Royals and Dodgers, but has learned to rely on his fastball less and refined his change, which he’s almost doubled in usage since he moved to the bandbox that was Chase Field in AZ. The Sox get both him AND Cole, then get the respite of Wade Miley, except Miley has reinvented himself this year using Astros Pitching Voodoo Magic. He’s posted career best numbers in K’s and cut his walk rate considerably, making him if not as difficult as the other two, still overkill for what the Sox have been bringing to the plate.

Speaking of which, after scoring a whopping 3 runs against the A’s this past weekend the Sox have seemingly shaken the roster up by doing…absolutely nothing. As of writing this it looks like the same lineup Renteria trotted out yesterday. While the Sox 1-5 hitters on paper look pretty solid, their production (Outside of Tim Anderson) has been sorely lacking the last 10 games. If they’re going to have a prayer of winning anything against the ‘Stros, Jose Abreu and James McCann need to stop looking like they’re double parked in Wrigleyville and work the counts a little more in their favor. Moncada is still a few days away from returning, so we get more of Ryan Goins and his Interpretive Dance Defense at the hot corner. Sox pitching has it’s work cut out for it, and I’m interested to see how Dylan Cease handles this unholy terror of a lineup. His control needs to be precise, and the walks need to be nil, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ups his game. The bullpen has been pitching well, which is good because they’re gonna be needed on Wednesday with Detwiler scheduled to start.

Let’s Go Sox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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