Tonight’s matchup will feature a showdown between two southpaws: veteran lefty Chris Sale who is generally dominant but has had a poor season and young star Matthew Boyd who has seriously turned heads so far this year. Get your popcorn and turn on the TV because it’s time for Monday night baseball.
The Red Sox come into this game having won their last three in a series sweep against the Tampa Bay Rays. After a slow start to the season, the fact that the Sox could finally be heating up has many worried. The defending champs may have barely scraped out their three last wins, but their offense has started providing some run support and the pitching is looking better than normal. Plus, several unlikely stars have shown why they deserve their spots in the lineup, most notably Christian Vazquez.
The Tigers come into the matchup at the 10-10 mark and looking to gain ground in the AL Central. They recently took 2 of 3 in a series with the Chicago White Sox. The team has had a relatively solid season on the pitching side of things. They have a team ERA of 3.25 which is one of the best in the majors. However, they have been offensively silent for nearly the entire season. They are last in the MLB in runs scored and near the bottom in team average, where they bat a mere .218.
Whether you like either of these teams or just like baseball, this game will be a good one as both teams continue to try and turn slow starts into a winning season.
TV/Radio: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, 4/22/19 7:10 PM ET, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida. TV: Red Sox on NESN, Tigers on FS-D+, Radio: Red Sox on WEEI 93.7 WCCM 1490 AM, Tigers on 97.1 the Ticket
Red Sox Starting Lineup
Red Sox Analysis
So, what went wrong at the beginning of the season? Well for starters, the pitching was dreadful. Starters were missing their spots and opponents were taking advantage early. And even when the starters turned in good outings, the normally good relief core always seemed to blow it. And while the hitting wasn’t all that bad, many of last year’s stars, namely Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, were not producing in any way similar to the way they did in the 2018 season.
Then what went right during the last series against the Rays? First off, the defense was solid making only one error the entire series. Second of all, the offense picked up when needed. And finally, the bullpen generally held things down in the later parts of the game (aside from Barnes giving up an 8thinning home run yesterday).
Tonight’s matchup will feature “ace” Chris Sale attempting to make something out of his season. Sale himself described his season thus far as an embarrassment and will desperately be trying to hit his spots and keep the ball on the ground. His velocity has been climbing over the past few games, which is a positive sign, but he needs to be more confident in his nasty slider if he is to start looking like his old self.
Tigers Starting Lineup
Who else misses the Tigers from earlier this decade? Those were the days in which Verlander, and Max Scherzer ruled the mound and Miguel Cabrera absolutely mashed at the plate. Verlander and Scherzer still rule the mound (both for different teams, however) and well, Miggy will always be Miggy.
But the Tigers really need to figure things out this season. Their pitching has been really solid, but I’m talking offensively. The team can’t really count on their pitching to carry them through the entire season with such sub-par offensive production. I guess if you were to mention a notable offensive player you could mention Niko Goodrum, but .279 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs isn’t all that impressive if you’re one of your team’s top offensive producers.
Matthew Boyd takes the mound tonight for his fifth start of the season. The 28-year-old leads major league starters in fWAR, FIP, and is tied for the lead in strikeouts. His slider has been nastier than any Chris Sale slider this season and he looks to continue his dominant run tonight against a normally good offensive powerhouse. Can he end the Sox 3-game win streak?
Red Sox vs Tigers Betting Odds
Coming in on a 3-game win streak? Let’s make it 4. The Red Sox are finally showing signs of the same World Series caliber play they showed last season and they don’t want to stop anytime soon. Moneyline consensus currently has the Sox at -220 and the Tigers at +200. The over under for the game is set at 8.5.
Odds & Line Movement Links
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