Red Sox Preview: Back home to face the Yankees


The Boston Red Sox (60-70) return home to host the New York Yankees (72-57) for a three game set beginning on Monday.

Boston is coming off of a successful road trip in which they won 4 out of 6 games, including a series win over the other team from New York. The Red Sox are playing more inspired baseball of late, with the second best record in the division over the last 10 games and the league’s second highest scoring offense in August.

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New York’s late summer swoon has cost them the division lead, but a 20-6 shellacking of the Braves to cap a weekend sweep in Atlanta has the Yankees back on track. They still trail the Toronto Blue Jays by 1.5 games, but have a comfortable 4 game lead for the top Wild Card spot.

The Red Sox are 8.5 games out of a Wild Card spot, making their postseason hopes next to hopeless, but they can still get some satisfaction out of playing spoiler to their greatest rival. If they manage to win the series they will not only prevent the Yankees from reclaiming the division, but could help other teams gain some ground in the Wild Card hunt.

Pitching Matchups @ Fenway Park

August 31 @ 7:00 PM

September 1 @ 7:10 PM

September 2 @ 4:05 PM

Projected lineup for today’s game:

Series Notes:

  • The  Yankees are 8-4 against the Red Sox so far this season. Following this three-game series at Fenway, the teams will meet again for a four-game set in New York from September 28 – October 1.
  • Blake Swihart is hitting a team-high .373 this month, raising his season slash line to .280/.326/.381.
  • The Red Sox have 8 hitters that have appeared in at least 17 games this month that are batting over .300 in August. The two highest paid hitters on the team are not among them.
  • Hanley Ramirez remains out of the lineup to begin the series, as he continues to be bothered by shoulder fatigue.
  • Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira remains out of the lineup with a leg injury and is expected to miss the entire series in Boston after being sent back to New York for further tests. He has missed 10 of the team’s last 12 games and has hit a meager .175 in the games he has played in this month.

Key Hitters: 

Red Sox – David Ortiz

  • Boston’s DH is a career .304/.394/.560 hitter against the Yankees. He has blasted 46 home runs against the Bronx Bombers in his career, which is tied for the second most he has hit against any team. Ortiz is six home runs shy of joining the exclusive 500 home run club, so you know he’s eager to inch his way closer to that milestone at the Yankees’ expense.

Yankees – Alex Rodriguez

  • The 39-year old is having a surprising resurgence after sitting out all of last season due to a suspension. While A-Rod is no longer capable of playing the field on a regular basis, he’s been more productive at the plate than most of us expected him to be at this age. His 136 OPS+ is the highest it has been since 2009, which is also when the Yankees last won a World Series. Rodriguez loves hitting at Fenway Park, where he owns a career .883 OPS with 27 home runs in 484 at-bats.


Game One Winner – Red Sox

Fenway has not been kind to Nova, where he is 2-3 with a 4.91 ERA over 6 games (5 starts) in his career. Rodriguez is coming off of two straight promising starts and the lefty will have the platoon advantage over many of the Yankees most dangerous hitters.

Game Two Winner – Yankees

Porcello was brilliant over 7 shutout innings in his return last week. Was that a mirage or did he figure something out with his mechanics during his time off? I need to see more before I’m convinced he’s back to the level he was at prior to this season and facing this Yankees lineup isn’t the ideal way to test that theory.

Game Three Winner – Red Sox

Owens has made a habit of holding his own against opposing team’s aces and will get his next chance when matched up against Tanaka. The Red Sox have had success against Tanaka in the past, so if the rookie can hang in there against a tough Yankees lineup he could put Boston in position to win the series.

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