The Boston Red Sox head to Kansas City to take on the defending World Champion Royals.
The Boston Red Sox head out for a quick three-game road trip in Kansas City to test themselves against a Royals team they hope to dethrone this season.
Monday’s series opener was washed out, which means we’ll get a double-header on Wednesday instead. It’s not the first time the Red Sox have been rained out this year, but it will be their first chance to play two games in one day.
Boston is riding high, having won seven of their last eight games and scoring in double figures five times during that stretch. When you are rolling like this, the last thing you want is for a game to be postponed. Hopefully the delay in starting this series hasn’t slowed the team’s momentum.
The Royals seem to be suffering from a World Series hangover, stumbling out of the gate with an 18-19 record. They remain a dangerous opponent, but the Red Sox may be catching them at the right time, as the Royals have dropped six of their last ten.
- The Red Sox lead the majors with 229 runs scored and an average of 6.02 runs per game. The Royals are last in the American League with 131 runs, for an average of 3.54 runs per game.
- Boston has five of the top 12 hitters in the AL in batting average, led by Xander Bogaerts at .338. That doesn’t include Dustin Pedroia, who has seen his average dip to .299, but still ranks 5th in the league with 47 hits.
- Brock Holt has been dropped to the bottom of the order, at least to begin the series. He’s struggling through a 1-for-12 slump, dropping his season average to .250.
- It sounds like Eduardo Rodriguez may have suffered a setback on his road to recovery. Manager John Farrell told WEEI that E-Rod has been experiencing soreness in his knee and will miss his next scheduled start on Thursday.
- The Royals rode the league’s best bullpen to a title last season and their relievers remain the strength of this team. Kansas City’s bullpen has been almost as good so far this year, ranking second in the league with a collective 2.77 ERA.
- Wade Davis may be the best reliever in the game, but he’s not quite invulnerable. The Royals closer allowed 2 earned runs in his last appearance on May 15. Not only was it his first blown save of the year, it was the first runs he has allowed in 12.2 innings. As impressive as that is, Davis didn’t allow his second earned run last season until July 12! Safe to say the Red Sox are doing themselves a favor if they can get an early lead.
Red Sox: Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Bradley is riding a 21-game hit streak, over which he is 33-for-82 (.402) at the plate. During his streak he has eight multi-hit games, including a stretch where he had six straight multi-hit games. He’s not relying on cheap hits to keep the streak going either, as he has 15 extra-base hits, including 6 home runs, during the streak.
Bradley was named the AL Player of the Week, an impressive accomplishment given what it takes to stand out in a lineup where everyone seems to be clicking.
Royals: Eric Hosmer
Kansas City may have the league’s weakest offense, but don’t blame Hosmer. He’s fifth in the league with a .336 average and tenth with a .928 OPS. The 6th year first baseman is on pace for a career year in just about every offensive category. Now if only the rest of his teammates would catch up.