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2022 Series Preview 12: Houston Astros @ Boston Red Sox

The Astros (23-12, 1st in AL West) wrap up their road trip with a mid-week series against the Red Sox (13-21, 5th in AL East)

Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros, 2021 American League Championship Series Set Number: X163840 TK1

The Narrative

No matter how you slice it, things have not gone according to plan for the Red Sox in 2022. Currently sitting 8 games blow .500, Boston is not anywhere near theteam that was predicted to at least be in the mix for a playoff spot this season. This fall from grace has come as the result of what can only be described as lackadaisical offense and middling pitching.

Thanks to the uninspired play, the Red Sox have managed to win just two series so far this season with the most recent one coming this past weekend against the Rangers. The first was against the Tigers and happened over a month ago, so not a whole lot of winning culture going on in that clubhouse.

Still, there’s more talent to the Red Sox than their record suggests. Though the team looks to have taken several steps back during their run of bad losses, there are several players who are still able to uncork one when needed. Even the bullpen, which has looked really bad so far this season, has some excellent players, but the team has had trouble getting it all working at the same time.

They’ll need to figure it out fast if they hope to have any luck against the red hot Astros, who look like they may never lose another series. Considering that Boston has yet to win a series against a team with a record over .500, I’m not sure there’s much hope to be had in bean town.

Last 10 Games: 3-7 Record, 1 Series Win, 1 Series Split, 1 Series Loss, 1 Series Swept, -7 Run Differential (41 scored, 48 allowed)

W/L Splits: 4-9 at home, 9-12 on the road, 7-13 against teams over .500

Injured List


The Offense

As a team the Red Sox’s offense has been distinctly not great. Sporting a collective .235/.290/.354 slash line, Boston’s .644 OPS is 24th in the league and indicative of where most of the team’s offensive stats lie. Honestly, there’s not much to write home about when it comes to the Red Sox offense other than a few players off to good starts. Even then, they don’t have a single batter with an OPS north of .900.

Not so unusual is J.D. Martinez (.235/.290/.354) showing up as one of the better hitters at the plate this season, but he looks like he he’s playing a close second fiddle Rafael Devers (.324/.351/.542). Devers leads the team in hits (46), runs (22), home runs (6), doubles (13), and RBI (19) so far in 2022.

Devers and Martinez have been red hot coming into this series, with both mashing an OPS north of 1.000 in the past week of games. Both have been hitting .400+ and Devers in particular has been out of his mind, mashing 2 homers and 5 doubles during his last 22 AB’s.


The Bullpen

The Red Sox relievers have not been covering themselves in glory this season as demonstrated by a 4.27 ERA (24th in MLB). Boston’s pen can definitely strike some guys out (146, 8th in MLB), but they also give up a ton of walks (56, 22nd in MLB) and their 9 blown saves to start the season doesn’t exactly bode well for the Boston faithful.

As one can expect by the blown save stat, the late inning situation has been an absolute mess for the Red Sox this season. Eight different players have pitched in save opportunities so far this year as Boston continues to try and figure out high leverage relief.

Jake Diekman (LHP, 10.2 IP, 3.38 ERA, 16 K’s) and Hansel Robles (RHP, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 10 K’s) are probably Cora’s biggest weapons in the 9th, and they are both tied for team lead with 3 save opportunities. Austin Davis (LHP, 15.1 IP, 2.35 ERA, 18 K’s) has also looked good this season, but has only pitched once in a save opportunity so far.

After that things get a little dicey for Boston. Matt Barnes, who has been a big utility piece in that pen for a while, has really stunk it up with a 7.15 ERA so far in 2022. He’s just one of four Boston relievers with at least 10 innings of work and an ERA over 6.50.


The Starters

Game 1: Jake Odorizzi (RHP, 3-2, 3.38 ERA, 17 K’s) vs Garrett Whitlock (1-1, 2.19 ERA, 34 K’s)

After starting the season in the bullpen, Garrett Whitlock made the jump to the rotation in late April and has 4 starts under his belt. Things had been looking good if not spectacular, until his most recent start against the Braves that saw him give up 3 runs and 4 walks in just 3.0 innings pitched. Whitlock can probably shake it off, but he’ll need to do it quickly and against a red hot offense.

Game 2: Jose Urquidy (RHP, 2-1, 4.40 ERA, 19 K’s) vs Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 3.15 ERA, 42 K’s)

Eovaldi has been off to an excellent start in 2022, going deep into games and giving the Red Sox chances to win games. May has been a little rough for him though, relatively speaking, with both of his starts featuring 3 runs surrendered each. He did get into the 7th his last time out though, so no problems in delivering quality innings.

Game 3: Luis Garcia (RHP, 3-1, 2.94 ERA, 37 K’s) vs Nick Pivetta (1-4, 5.08 ERA, 33 K’s)

After stumbling out of the gate, Nick Pivetta has seemingly righted the ship and has turned in two solid outings in a row while lowering his ERA by 5 runs from its mid-April high of 10.03. His last two starts have seen just one run surrendered across 13 innings of work. Pivetta has also struck out 12 while only walking one during those frames.


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Monday, May 16th @ 6:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Red Sox - WCCM 1490 AM/103.7 FM, WEEI 93.7
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Red Sox NESN / MLB Network (out-of-market only)

Game 2: Tuesday, May 17th @ 6:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Red Sox - WCCM 1490 AM/103.7 FM, WEEI 93.7
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Red Sox NESN / TBS (out-of-market only)

Game 3: Wednesday, May 18th @ 5:10 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Red Sox - WCCM 1490 AM/103.7 FM, WEEI 93.7
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Red Sox NESN


Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (38 votes)
  • 64%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (101 votes)
  • 8%
    Red Sox Win 2-1
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    Red Sox Sweep 3-0
    (4 votes)
157 votes total Vote Now