Red Sox vs. Brewers series preview: A clash of high-powered offenses

Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) pitches during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) pitches during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Red Sox (17-14) travel to Miller Park for a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers (16-16). The fans of both teams should get a great show with all the runs that should be scored.

The Boston Red Sox were finally able to unleash their offense last series against the Minnesota Twins.

They scored 32 runs in three games and were able to win two of them. Manager John Farrell shook up the lineup, going with Betts-Pedroia-Bogaerts-Benintendi-Hanley atop the batting order. Clearly it worked against the Twins, but let’s see if the momentum will carry into this series.

After coming into the season with low expectations, the Milwaukee Brewers have continued to pester the NL Central. They are currently in 4th place in the division, but they stand only 1.5 games back of 1st place.

Their offense ranks 4th in SLG, 5th in OPS, and 7th in runs scored. Their fatal flaw has been their pitching staff which is consistently in the bottom half of the league.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, May 9 at 7:40 PM – Drew Pomeranz (3-1, 4.75 ERA) vs Wily Peralta (4-2, 4.88 ERA)

Wednesday, May 10 at 8:10 PM – Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 13.50 ERA) vs Chase Anderson (2-0, 2.86 ERA)

Thursday, May 11 at 1:10 PM – Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 4.15) vs Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 4.83 ERA)

Series Notes

  • The Brewers get the chance to flaunt the Tyler Thornburg trade in the Red Sox face this series. Travis Shaw will be facing his former team for the first time. He has been excellent for the Brewers this year. Shaw has a slash line of .263/.303./.544 with 7 home runs and a team-leading 24 RBI. He also has 9 doubles and has scored 14 runs. The third base position has been a giant hole for the Sox this year and trading away Shaw didn’t help (not to mention Thornburg will be on the 60-day DL for a while).
  • Sandy Leon

    continues to throw a wrinkle into the catching situation. After a scorching hot start, it looked like he should be the full-time catcher instead of

    Christian Vazquez

    . Then Leon went through a cold streak and Vazquez looked like the front-runner for the job. Leon hit 3 home runs in 9 at-bats against the Twins last series so it looks like he is getting back into some sort of rhythm at the plate.

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  • Here is what seems to be my biweekly take on Craig Kimbrel. The guy has been light out this year and has definitely put 2016 in the rear view mirror. He is striking out batters at a ridiculous rate (16.71 K/9) and his WHIP is all the way down to 0.50. As long as Kimbrel continues to be a weapon in the bullpen, I am going to continue to write about him.
  • The Red Sox are in desperate need of a 5th Kyle Kendrick was cruising through his first 3 innings against the Orioles, then hit a wall in the 4th inning. He had an impressive Spring Training, but he also has a career ERA of 4.66. The other two logical, in-house options are Brian Johnson and Henry Owens. They both have looked impressive in Pawtucket with a 2.28 ERA for Johnson and a 1.35 ERA for Owens. The trouble with these guys is that they have never been able to eat innings and/or pitch effectively in the majors. Maybe they are able to make the jump this year, maybe they are not. No matter the case, the Sox need to find someone that will give them innings as a 5th starter.
  • Key Hitters

    Boston Red Sox: Andrew Benintendi

    2017 Season (30 Games): .325/.385/.500, 5 HR, 20 RBI

    Career vs Milwaukee Brewers (0 Games): .000/.000/.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI

    More from Red Sox News

    Benintendi responded well to John Farrell’s most recent lineup change. As a result Benintendi got moved down to the cleanup spot for the series against the Twins. Overall, he went 7-for-15 at the plate with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, scored 5 runs, and also stole a bag. It was a big series for Benintendi.

    Watching him play each day has been amazing to watch because there is not a situation that bothers him, it does not matter who he is facing or even where he is batting. He shows up to play day-in and day-out.

    Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Thames

    2017 Season (30 Games): .324/.438/.731, 12 HR, 22 RBI

    Career vs Red Sox (15 Games): .204/.328/.327, 1 HR, 2 RBI

    Thames’ return from Korea to the MLB has been well-documented this season and rightfully so. They guy could not hit here, went to Korea and found his stroke, and has come back and torn the league up.

    He has experienced a little bit of a power outage with only one home run in his last 9 games. Nevertheless, Thames has been electric this year and it will be fun watching him hit against the bottom part of the Red Sox rotation.

    Next: Red Sox are in position to compete for AL East division title

    Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!