Red Sox vs. Rangers Series Preview: Lone Star showdown

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 04: David Price #24 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 4, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 04: David Price #24 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 4, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox head to Texas for a series they must take care of.

Coming off a salvaged series against the Royals, the Boston Red Sox (22-8) will head to Texas for a four-game battle with the Rangers (12-20) in Arlington.

As Boston gears up for another inferior opponent on their schedule, the Red Sox can’t take the Rangers lightly. The Red Sox lost two out of three to the Rays, and without Mookie Betts‘ three homer performance, could’ve very easily lost two out of three to the Royals, too.

On a positive note, Drew Pomeranz finally turned in a decent outing thanks to an increased fastball velocity and controlled curveball. The lefty went six innings, surrendering three earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts.

The Rangers, who were out-slugged by the Indians in two out of three, are licking their wounds as they regroup at Globe Life Park. The Rangers usually give the Red Sox trouble, but last season they were 1-5 against them. Additionally, this Rangers team may be one of the least talented teams to take the field in years.

As Betts, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez lead the offensive charge for Boston, others like Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi continue to scuffle. The Red Sox offense has produced at a high level for most of the season, but the lineup needs a more balanced attack moving forward. Can the summer sizzle of Arlington heat up the Red Sox bats?

Pitching Matchups

Thursday, May 3 at 8:05 PM David Price (2-3, 3.78 ERA ) vs. Mike Minor (2-1, 4.33 ERA)

Friday, May 4 at 8:05 PM Rick Porcello (4-0, 2.23 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (1-0, 2.87 ERA)

Saturday, May 5 at 8:05 PM€“ Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 4.78 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (1-4, 4.08 ERA)

Sunday, May 6 at 3:05 PM€“ Chris Sale (2-1, 2.14 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (1-2, 2.88 ERA)

Series Notes

  • Price is 4-2 with a 6.53 ERA in eight career starts in Arlington.
  • Porcello has four walks and 38 strikeouts in six games.
  • At age 44, Colon holds a 2.87 ERA. Forget the TB12 program, what is the secret to Colon’s ageless program?
  • E-Rod is scheduled to make his first start in Texas since his 2015 debut.
  • Despite giving up seven HR in his first four starts, Hamels has limited long balls to one in his last three starts.
  • Sale has earned one earned run or less in five of his seven starts.
  • The Red Sox should have a beat on Fister’s arsenal since the sinker baller was apart of the Red Sox pitching staff last season.
  • Benintendi went 6-9 with one double, two HR and eight RBI in three games at Globe Life Park last season.

Three Keys To Victory

  • Price: What has happened to the lefty since the numbness sensation in his hand against the Yankees? He’s been a completely different pitcher — and not in a good way. He’s gone 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA and has failed to reach late innings. The lone outing against Oakland where Price pitched 7 2/3, he still surrendered four earned runs on nine hits. All eyes will be on Price to regain form in Texas, as his early season success has evaporated.
  • Craig Kimbrel: Another member of the Red Sox pitching staff who hasn’t looked as sharp recently. After blowing a save against the Blue Jays in Toronto with a walk-off HR to Curtis Granderson, Kimbrel narrowly escaped disaster against the Rays in Fenway, but then gave up a game-tying bomb to Alex Gordon against the Royals Tuesday night. While Kimbrel looked like his normal self in Wednesday’s victory, giving up two HR in five appearances doesn’t bode too well for an already vulnerable bullpen moving forward. Kimbrel didn’t give up his second home run of 2017 until July 3.
  • Ride the Betts wave of momentum: Betts is easily the MVP favorite thus far, setting the tone for the rest of the lineup every game. When Betts is blasting rockets to Mars, the rest of the Red Sox lineup follows with their own success. We saw it against the Angels. We saw it against the Blue Jays. We saw it again on Wednesday against the Royals. The Mookie Betts show won’t always consist of multi home run performances, but even if he just reaches base, the rest of the lineup will make the opposing pitcher pay…eventually.

Next: Red Sox: Mookie Betts sets franchise record for three-home run games

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