Boston Red Sox vs Baltimore Orioles series preview
By Chris Embree
The Boston Red Sox return home to Fenway Park to take on the Baltimore Orioles in a quick, two-game series early this week.
The Boston Red Sox (3-3) host the Baltimore Orioles (4-1) in a two-game series starting this Tuesday.
The Red Sox are coming off a series in which they had many struggles. With the exception of Chris Sale, the starting pitching gave up its fair share of runs. The bullpen also struggled finding the plate throughout the series.
The Orioles are off to a hot start this year and look to continue their winning ways against the Sox. The O’s are currently the division leaders.
This series will kick off their season long battle for 1st place in the A.L. East.
Tuesday, April 11 at 7:10 PM – Drew Pomeranz vs Dylan Bundy (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
Wednesday, April 12 at 7:10 PM – Steven Wright (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs Ubaldo Jimenez (0-0, 10.38 ERA)
- The bullpen struggled with walks last series against the Detroit Tigers. It cost them the first game, with Heath Hembree and Joe Kelly combining for four walks in the 8th inning. Red Sox relievers allowed eight walks as a unit throughout the series. The bullpen has to improve, especially with the suspect starting pitching and the lack of offense at this point in the season.
- Speaking of the bullpen, Matt Barnes returned from his brief stint on the bereavement list. He threw two scoreless innings of relief on Sunday and picked up the win. He also has yet to allow a run this season and has struck out five batters in 3.2 innings. If Barnes continues to pitch like this, Farrell should officially make him the 8th inning guy in the absence of Tyler Thornburg.
- The Red Sox are slowly getting back to normal. Hanley Ramirez missed the series against the Tigers, but was working out in Boston on Tuesday. Mookie Betts and Matt Barnes both made their returns during the Tigers series. Also, Xander Bogaerts missed the finale of the Tigers series due to a flight cancellation, but should be there for Orioles series. Betts, Hanley, and Bogaerts look to bring some stability to an offense that has struggled out of the gate this year due to injuries and the spread of the flu.
- Drew Pomeranz makes his regular season return. He pitched in Spring Training, but opened the season on the disabled list with arm tightness. He’ll pitch the series opener and look to prove to the Red Sox, and the fans, that he is finally healthy and was worth the trade for Anderson Espinoza.
- The Red Sox will also make up their rain-out game against the Pirates on Thursday.
Boston Red Sox: Mitch Moreland
2017 Season (6 Games): .333/.385/.542, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Career vs Baltimore Orioles (36 Games): .268/.319/.465, 7 HR, 21 RBI
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Moreland went on a tear against the Tigers. In the four-game series he hit .533, scored four runs, and was able to find the gaps in the outfield, hitting four doubles. With all of the ailments in the lineup, Moreland should continue to see a steady amount of playing time at first base.
Throughout his career he has also hit well against the Orioles. His batting average against is O’s is 14 points higher than his overall career average and has hit 7 home runs in just 36 games against them.
Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado
2017 Season (5 Games): .235/.350/.471, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Career vs Red Sox (68 Games): .279/.325/.449, 9 HR, 32 RBI
Machado has gotten off to a slow start this year. Going into the season, the Orioles were not widely expected to make a push for the division title. Obviously it’s early in the season, but in order for the Orioles to remain atop the division, they need Machado to be the spark plug in the lineup.
Next: What if Red Sox never let Pedro go?
Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!