The Boston Red Sox kick their second half off with a rematch of the 2018 World Series, and they’ll be looking to set the tone for the rest of the season.
The All-Star shenanigans are over and now it’s time to get things going on the second half of the season. Yeah yeah, I know that we are technically beyond the actual midway point of the season but I’m speaking more in a ceremonial sense. Our beloved Red Sox kick off their first series post All-Star break against a familiar foe in the Los Angeles Dodgers, and this needs to be a tone-setting series for Boston.
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At this point in the year, the Dodgers are the best team in baseball with a stellar 60-32 record while the Red Sox are everything but stellar at a paltry 49-41. LA sure looks to be on cruise control in the direction of yet another World Series berth while Boston is fighting for a shot at the Wild Card. That’s why this series is the one that Boston needs to use to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.
Up until this point, many of us have said “there’s still time,” well time is running out and pretty damn quickly. With only 72 games left in the season, the Red Sox don’t have the luxury of time to get the train back on the tracks. If they come out of the gates hot in this series with LA not only will they show they still have the fight of a champion, but also that they deserve to defend their championship.
Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound for Boston in game 1 tonight and looks to continue the consistency he showed in the first half. E-Rod carries a 9-4 record with a 4.65 ERA and has been one of the rocks of the Red Sox pitching staff. If the Sox want to have any shot at making the postseason they’re going to need Rodriguez to keep his quality of play up.
Game 2 will see the biggest question mark of the 2019 Red Sox take the mound, Chris Sale. The Condor signed a 5-year/$145M extension earlier this year and unfortunately, he hasn’t quite lived up to it. If anyone needs to step up and prove themselves in the second half it’s Sale. He’s also looking for his first win at Fenway Park this season. Tomorrow night could be the perfect storm that Sale and the Sox are looking for.
The offense has been the high point of this season for Boston and I look for much of the same in the second half. The Red Sox find themselves 8th in the entire MLB with a +58 RD but LA is at the top of that stat as they own an impressive +129 RD. So the Sox will need to keep those runs coming across the plate to keep pace with the LA juggernaut.
This series is not only a rematch of the World Series but will be a major kickstart to the second half for Boston. Once the Dodgers leave Fenway Park Boston will run a gauntlet of 21 straight games against the AL East. Boston couldn’t ask for a better scenario as they are currently 9.0 games back in the AL East and 2.0 games back in the Wild Card. Getting momentum from this Dodgers series could give them the fire to make the charge towards October.
I’m realistic in the fact that it’ll be challenging to knock off the Los Angeles juggernaut but this is the time and the team to do it. After all, we know how well LA likes to lay at Fenway Park. Taking this series against LA can be the fire that this team needs in order to tackle the American League and begin their march to October.