Athletics vs Red Sox

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The Red Sox are heading back home following a long, ten-day trip and are looking to build a little momentum back in the friendly confines. They are also looking for revenge against the team that slowed down their tremendous run in April and the pitcher who held them hitless for an entire game. Grab tickets here and head out to Fenway to root on the good guys.

For the most part, this has been a phenomenal season for Porcello as he has had all of his pitches working and his command has been on another level. He was, of course, a total wildcard heading into the season but he’s been at the highest end of any reasonable expectations. That being said, he’s coming off his worst start of the year in which he allowed five runs to the Yankees in just 5 1⁄3 innings of work. Rough outings are going to happen here and there even for pitchers having great seasons, especially against great offenses like the one in New York. The key is to not let them snowball, so this will be an interesting start for the 2016 Cy Young winner. Porcello didn’t pitch when these two teams met in April.

I think most of us remember Manaea, yeah? The A’s young righty had a hell of an outing against the Red Sox back in April when he held them without a hit, and really that was the start of what’s been a more pedestrian run for the Red Sox lineup. He’s been outstanding pretty much all year with a 2.11 ERA, and though the peripherals aren’t that good his elite control gives him a relatively high floor and he induces some weak contact. His no-hitter against the Red Sox slowed down the offense for a while, so maybe this time around he’ll be the guy to get them to click again and get them looking like it’s early April. Manaea throws a low-90s fastball along with a changeup and a slider.

As is the case pretty much every year, it’s been an inconsistent and frustrating season for Rodriguez. He has certainly shown what he’s capable of here and there, and the potential is there for him to dominate any lineup on any day. That said, he still has a 4.58 ERA on the season and allowed five runs in two of his last three starts. The good news is that his last outing may have been his most impressive of the year when he tossed five shutout innings against the Yankees while allowing just one hit. Hopefully, that is the catalyst for a strong run for the southpaw. Rodriguez, like Porcello, missed Oakland when these two teams last met.

Mengden is hoping to make this his first full season in the majors (he’s pitched partial seasons the last two years), and he’s pitching fairly well en route to that goal. His ERA is a little over 4.00 and a little better than average (105 ERA+), and while he doesn’t miss a lot of bats he also doesn’t put guys on for free and his flyball tendencies can limit hits. The question is how much playing in Oakland keeps his home run rate in check, and whether or not the Red Sox can take better advantage in Fenway. They didn’t take advantage in Oakland, scoring just one run off the righty over 6 1⁄3 innings when they saw him in April. Mengden throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball along with a slider, a changeup, and a curveball.

Wednesday is Sale Day, and the excitement of Sale Days are starting to pick up recently. His last two starts have been his best of the year, and perhaps coincidentally (or perhaps not), Sandy León has been behind the plate for both of them. His last outing looked a little rough until they adjusted their signs, and then the ace flipped the switch. He’s allowed four runs over 16 innings (2.25 ERA) over his last couple of starts with 27 strikeouts and just one walk. When he faced Oakland earlier this year he allowed three runs over seven innings with ten strikeouts and a walk.

 

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