Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland A’s Series Preview

Boston vs. Oakland

The Boston Red Sox will head west for a three-game series against the Oakland A’s, which the Red Sox swept before the All-Star break. The Red Sox have been the best team since June 30, going 10-2, and in that 12-game stretch, they have outscored their opponents 77-51. They are coming in off a series win over the Cubs, taking two out of three and outscoring them 23-18. The A’s are coming in off being swept by the Twins in three games, and they were outscored 20-15. The Red Sox swept the A’s right before the break taking all three games and outscoring them 21-9/

Boston Red Sox (50-44) vs. Oakland A’s (25-70)

Game 1:

Date: Monday, July 17
Time: 9:40 PM EST
Broadcast: NESN

Game 2:

Date: Tuesday, July 18
Time: 9:40 PM EST
Broadcast: NESN

Game 3:

Date: Wednesday, July 19
Time: 3:37 PM EST
Broadcast: NESN

Projected Starting Pitchers:

Game 1: Opener vs. Paul Blackburn (1-1, 4.86 ERA)

The Red Sox will go with an opener to start the series, but it has been mentioned that Nick Pivetta will see the bulk of the work, whether that means he’s starting or coming in after the opener. Pivetta has made four appearances in his career, three of which were starts; his one relief appearance came in the last series against the A’s. Pivetta is 4-0 in those four appearances with a 1.00 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP in 27 innings of work. Whoever starts for the Red Sox will take on Paul Blackburn for the A’s, who faced the Red Sox in the last series; he went one inning in relief, giving up two runs on three hits; he walked one and struck out one.

Game 2: Opener vs. Luis Medina (2-7, 6.34 ERA)

The second game of the series sounds like the Red Sox will go with another opener, but there is a chance they could call up Kyle Barraclough from AAA Worcester. If it is Barraclough, he has faced the A’s four times, going 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in 5.2 innings of work. The opener for the Red Sox will face Luis Medina, whose last outing came against the Red Sox in which he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits; he walked one and struck out nine.

Game 3: Brayan Bello (7-5, 3.14 ERA) vs. Ken Waldichuk (2-6, 6.66 ERA)

Boston Red Sox Brayan Bello
Image courtesy of Boston.com

Brayan Bello will get the ball in the series finale. Bello, this season has made 15 starts and has turned into an ace for the Red Sox. His last start came against the Cubs, in which he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits; he didn’t walk anyone and struck out five. Bello has a 3.92 FIP, a 1.19 WHIP, a 2.3 BB/9, and a 7.8 K/9 this season. He has never faced the A’s in his career. Bello will be opposed by Ken Waldichuk, who is making his 23rd appearance and 13th start; he faced the Red Sox on July 9, going 1.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits; he didn’t walk anyone and struck out one.

Boston Red Sox Player to Watch

Masataka Yoshida (.317/11/44)

Masataka Yoshida
Dan Treacy

Yoshida is among the hottest hitters in the league and has had multiple hits in nine of his last ten games. Yoshida has gone 20-43 in his previous ten games with two doubles, a triple, three home runs, and 11 RBI. In the last series against the A’s, Yoshida went 4-9 with a double, a home run, and two RBI. He posts a slash line of .313/.378/.484 with a .862 OPS.

Series Prediction:

The Red Sox are the hottest team in baseball right now, and they get one of the worst teams in baseball for three games. It’s hard not to predict a series sweep, but something about this says they win two out of three, drop the first game, and win the last two. The Red Sox can’t lose against this team with Bello on the mound, so that game should be a lock. With a series win, the Red Sox will trend toward being buyers at the trade deadline.

CJ

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