Boston is knotted up with the New York Yankees atop the American League East, while Minnesota has used a three-game winning streak to move a half-game ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. It seems unlikely the Twins can hang around the entire season, and they will be the underdogs in this matchup on the road against Boston, even though Minnesota is a sparkling 23-9 away from home on the season.
This series will be contested from Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29, 2017 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Thursday’s matchup will be televised nationally on ESPN.
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The Monday game features two of the most talented hurlers in the American League. Minnesota will send out young phenom Jose Berrios, who is 7-1 on the season with a 2.67 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched. Boston will counter with its ace, Chris Sale. The left-hander is 9-3 with a 2.85 ERA and has struck out 146 batters in only 107.1 innings pitched.
On Tuesday, the Twins are scheduled to start Hector Santiago. He is 4-6 with a 5.26 ERA and could have some trouble against a deep and talented Red Sox lineup. Boston will counter with Drew Pomeranz, who is 6-4 with a 4.07 ERA and has struck out 82 batters in 73 innings, which portends well for the future.
In the Wednesday matchup, the Twins plan to send out Adalberto Mejia, who is 2-3 with a 4.93 ERA and a poor strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Red Sox send out reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, who has struggled this year with a 4-9 record and a 5.00 ERA but has promising peripheral numbers and should improve soon.
The series finale will feature Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson, who is 4-5 with a 6.23 ERA and does not have enough quality stuff to remain a starter in the long run. Boston will start David Price, who is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA in six starts since returning to the rotation from an elbow injury.
No Whiffs For The Red Sox
While everyone in their starting rotation has the ability to strike out a lot of batters, the Boston lineup is the antithesis of that, able to commonly put the ball in play.
Outfielder Mookie Betts has 33 walks against only 27 strikeouts on the season in 293 at-bats, while Dustin Pedroia has 25 walks against 21 strikeouts in 224 at-bats. Andre Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts are among the other players with impressive bat control, and while Boston isn’t a big-time power team, its ability to put the ball in play has led to an above average offense.
Minus-38. That’s the Twins’ run-differential on the season, so certainly their 39-34 record has been lucky and seems unlikely to be sustained. However, Minnesota keeps coming up big in key spots, as it swept the Indians in the series before this one to reclaim the lead in the division.
While the Twins have some talented young pieces, the start has been a bit or a mirage. The Red Sox are the better team, they have four talented starting pitchers slated to go in this series and have the home field advantage.
The Twins have done an unbelievable job on the road on the season but that also seems unsustainable. The Red Sox should win this series even though the teams have similar records thus far.
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