Boston Red Sox (28-23) @ Chicago White Sox (24-27)
Start Time: 01:10 BST
The Boston Red Sox racked up 16 hits in a 13-7 win over the White Sox last night. The Red Sox played ‘Long Ball’ a season high six times. The loss to injury of star infielder Dustin Pedroia was expected to be keenly felt but Boston’s role players picked up the slack. Light hitting no.9 hitter Deven Marrero chipped in with 2 Home Runs and 5 RBI’s in a morale boosting performance.
The White Sox will be hoping to put last night’s performance to bed and claim a much needed series win in tonight’s rubber game. Chicago’s south side team have been in good form of late and have won 4 of their last 6 outings. The White Sox collected 14 hits last night, the second time in the last 3 games they had a double-digit hits total.
Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (4-3, 4.70 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Mike Pelfrey (2-4, 4.41)
Red Sox southpaw Drew Pomeranz was expected to reach greater heights this season but has been average at best for the Boston club. Pomeranz has however showed some glimpses of his breakout season when playing with Padres, a career best strike rate of 11.5 per 9 innings best illustrates the promise that the youngster can bring to the big leagues. Following a 3 game slump where Pomeranz’s ERA rocketed to 5.29, the leftie steadied the ship last time out against the Rangers with a commanding performance in a 6-2 Red Sox win.
After a slow start the White Sox starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey is coming off a strong showing in his last trip to the mound vs the Tigers. Pelfrey a huge specimen at 6ft 7 held a potent Tigers offense to just two runs and struck out 7 in 5 innings. Whilst boasting a decent 3.12 ERA in four starts vs the Red Sox, Pelfrey got knocked around in his last outing against Boston giving up 5 runs in 5 innings at Fenway. Pelfrey will look to pitch around the Red Sox’s star centre fielder Mookie Betts who is 4 for 9 with 2 doubles against the Chicago pitcher.
Minus the aforementioned Pedroia Boston manager John Farrell will hope that the ‘X Man’ Xander Bogaerts will continue his recent strong play at the plate. Bogaerts is averaging .355 in May with 15 RBI’s to boot. Ominously for the White Sox, Bogaerts is averaging .500 against them this season so you can be sure that Mike Pelfrey will not give him much to hit over the plate.
Young White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia has been a revelation for the Chicago club this year proving to be a real middle of the order threat in their lineup. Averaging .328 with 61 hits on the season, Garcia has also hit the long ball on 8 occasions. White Sox manager Rick Renteria is loathe to change his batting lineup but it may be only a matter of time before Garcia is moved towards the top of the order.
NOTABLE BETTING TRENDS
- Red Sox are 7-3 SU in the last 10 meetings in Chicago.
- Red Sox are 7-2 SU in their last 9 overall.
- Red Sox are 1-5 SU in Pomeranz’s last 6 road starts.
- White Sox are 6-2 SU in their last 8 home games.
- Under is 5-1 in Red Sox last 6 overall.
- Under is 6-2-1 in White Sox last 9 games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Under is 8-2 in Pomeranz’s last 10 road starts.
- Under is 15-7-2 in White Sox last 24 vs. a team with a winning record.
UMPIRE TRENDS – GREG GIBSON
- Under is 4-0 in Gibsons last 4 games behind home plate.
- Red Sox are 2-9 in their last 11 games with Gibson behind home plate.
Washington Nationals (32-19) @ San Francisco Giants (22-32)
Start Time: 03:15
It’s a tale of two teams trending in opposite directions in tonight’s nightcap, as the Nationals continue their west coast road trip looking for a series sweep in San Fran. Should the ‘Nats’ do the probable and win tonight it will be their their third road sweep on the season. Manager Dusty Baker has instilled a new sense of toughness in his side this season which has seen them flourish away from the nations capital. The Nationalss are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games and handily won the first two games of this series 3-0 and 6-3 respectively.
For all the wrong reasons outfielder Bryce Harper has grabbed all the headlines in this series after charging the mound in Game 1 when Hunter Strickland’s pitch intentionally hit the right fielder. The brawl that followed has seemingly sparked the Nationals more than a spluttering Giants unit. Legendary San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy can’t seem to spread his usual magic dust on this team all year with injury issues, a struggling bullpen, and inconsistent hitting from a so so lineup all major hindrances to the Giants winning consistently. Whilst their home patch has in recent years been a fortress , their record is an average .500 through 26 games at AT&T Park.
Nationals RH Max Scherzer (5-3, 2.77 ERA) vs. Giants RH Matt Cain (3-3, 4.45)
Washington’s SP Max Scherzer has been at his mercurial best this season leading the National League with 89 punch outs and holding opponents to a .189 batting average. Scherzer has also posted a formidable 0.94 WHIP coupled with 5 wins already in a young season. Whilst the good news keeps rolling with Scherzer of late, he has struggled in the past with the Giants. The Nationals ace has struggled in recent years going 2-4 with a below average 5.52 ERA in 6 starts against San Fran. The Missouri native will be hoping that a beaten up and out of form Giants lineup will not be quite as potent tonight.
Whilst the Giants have been Scherzer’s nemesis, it could be argued that Matt Cain’s kryptonite has been the Washington Nationals. Whilst he has regressed overall in recent years, Cain has kept the Nationals scoreless in his past two encounters with the DC ball club. The Giants righty has in particular dominated Bryce Harper posting a 1-10 record against Washington’s star player. Cain will need his best stuff tonight against the rest of the Nationals lineup but is aided by the ever pitcher friendly conditions at AT&T Park.
While many pundits have criticised his supposed fielding weaknesses, there can be no doubt that slugger Daniel Murphy has added a great deal to the Nationals since his free agency move from the Mets. Murphy is one of the harder outs in baseball with pitchers struggling to sneak any type of fastball past the second baseman. Clocking up a .326 average coupled with 16 RBI’s and 9 Home Runs, Murphy has been consistently outstanding in the past few seasons. Although only through a couple of games ‘Murph’ has compiled an 1.333 OPS against the Giants with 5 hits to boot.
As awful as the Giants have been this season it could be argued that things could be much worse if it were not for the strong play of star catcher Buster Posey. Behind the plate the Florida State alum has been on fire defensively this season and with bat in hand he has been equally impressive. Posey is averaging an outstanding .351 on the season with 12 RBI’s and 7 long balls. A perennial all star Posey calls a great game for all of his starters, and Giants pitchers tend to be zoned in when getting the signs from the Giants captain. Whilst other Giants hitters have struggled in this series , no surprise that Posey is 5-7 against the Nats this week. If Posey is given a night off and scratched from the lineup San Fran’s chances diminish in a big way.
NOTABLE BETTING TRENDS
- Nationals are 4-1 SU in their last 5 overall.
- Giants are 6-1 SU in their last 7 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Giants are 7-1 SU in Cain’s last 8 home starts vs. Nationals.
- Under is 5-1-1 SU in Nationals last 7 overall.
- Under is 17-8-1 SU in Giants last 26 home games.
- Over is 5-1 SU in Cain’s last 6 starts overall.
- Under is 15-5-1 SU in the last 21 meetings between the teams.
UMPIRE TRENDS – TRIPP GIBSON III
- Home team is 6-1 in Gibson IIIs last 7 games behind home plate.
- Under is 5-2 in Gibson IIIs last 7 games behind home plate.