Boston Red Sox vs Chicago Cubs series preview: World Series champs come to town
By Chris Embree
Previewing the three-game set between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.
Two of the most storied franchises meet at Fenway Park this weekend. The Boston Red Sox (11-10) host the Chicago Cubs (12-9) for a three-game series.
The Red Sox are on a cold streak, losing five out of their last seven games. Surprisingly, their offense has been the main issue so far. They rank 26th in the MLB having only scored 78 runs this year.
The Cubs on the other hand, are coming into the series hot, having won six of their last eight games. General Manager Theo Epstein makes his return to Fenway Park, his home for ten years.
Friday, April 28 at 7:10 PM – Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 4.60 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (3-0, 3.65 ERA)
Saturday, April 29 at 4:05 PM – Steven Wright (1-2, 8.66 ERA) vs. John Lackey (1-3, 4.88 ERA)
Sunday, April 30 at 8:00 PM – Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.50 ERA)
- The Red Sox have claimed Chase d’Arnaud off of waivers from the Atlanta Braves. He’s a 30-year old journeyman who has played 170 games sprinkled across 6 MLB seasons. With the acquisition, the Red Sox have sent down Steve Selsky. d’Arnaud will be filling in at 3rd base when needed, but can also play middle infield.
- Unfortunately, Red Sox fans will not get to see Jon Lester pitch at Fenway. The Cubs moved their rotation around so that Lester pitched this past Wednesday, instead of pitching against the Red Sox.
- Eduardo Rodriguez has seen his ERA take a nice dip down to 3.12. He struggled in his first two starts of the season, but has shown promise in his last two outings. One thing to point out is that he is striking out batters at a very good rate. He has 22 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. This equates to a 11.42 K/9.
- Matt Barnes should return to the team after being suspended for four games. He controversially threw at Manny Machado’s head. The Red Sox need all the bullpen help they can get this series against a great Cubs lineup.
Boston Red Sox: Mookie Betts
2017 Season (18 Games): .310/.380/.465, 2 HR, 11 RBI
Career vs Chicago Cubs (3 Games): .167/.167/.417, 1 HR, 2 RBI
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As stated earlier, the offense has been subpar this year. The blame does not solely lie on one player, but Mookie Betts is integral to their success.
He has been hitting well over the last 15 days (14 games in total). He has a .373 average, to go along with 2 HR and 11 RBI.
Look for Mookie to get this team back on track.
Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo
2017 Season (21 Games): .277/.400/.518, 5 HR, 15 RBI
Career vs Red Sox (6 Games): .217/.333/.304, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Over the last 15 days, Rizzo has been seeing beach balls. He has hit .320, to go along with 5 HR, 14 RBI, and has scored 11 times. As good as Kris Bryant is, part of his success hinges on Rizzo’s hitting ability.
Look for Rizzo to continue his tear against the 3rd, 4th, and 5th starters in the Red Sox rotation.
Next: Henry Owens, Kyle Kendrick have been a tale of two pitchers
Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!