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Boston Red Sox series preview: Let the bloodbath commence

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Washington Nationals
Mookie and the boys come to town
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox hold a one-game lead in the American League East over the New York Yankees. As they travel to Kauffman Stadium, it’s hard to imagine them not holding their ground over the next three games as they face the lowly Kansas City Royals.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Friday, July 6 — 7:15 PM CDT — Chris Sale (L) versus Jason Hammel
  • Saturday, July 7 — 6:15 PM CDT — David Price (L) versus Brad Keller
  • Sunday, July 8 — 1:15 PM CDT — Rick Porcello versus Jakob Junis

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference

Red Sox at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Game 1
Chris Sale (L) 18 116.0 164 36.1 29 6.4 2.41 2.38 2.56 2.49 4.0 4.8
Jason Hammel 17 100.1 66 14.5 30 6.6 5.56 4.20 5.03 4.94 1.0 -0.9
Game 2
David Price (L) 17 96.2 92 22.9 33 8.2 4.28 4.31 4.22 4.08 1.1 1.5
Brad Keller 27 56.0 33 14.7 18 8.0 2.09 3.18 4.15 4.26 1.1 2.3
Game 3
Rick Porcello 18 111.0 104 22.2 26 5.6 3.57 3.61 3.83 3.74 1.9 2.7
Jakob Junis 17 101.2 92 20.9 28 6.4 5.13 5.46 4.52 4.13 -0.3 0.2

If you squint hard and forget the fact that Brad Keller doesn’t get to face the Royals offense, maybe the Royals could take a game there. Before factoring in the gaping chasm separating the two offenses, the Red Sox still have an inarguable advantage in two of the three matchups. Chris Sale was June’s American League Pitcher of the Month. Nothing has changed there. David Price is far from spectacular, but he still gets to face the Royals. Rick Porcello has been solid again this year.

Boston Red Sox position players

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Mookie Betts RF 308 21 66 42 15 .338 .432 .669 .457 194 5.2 5.2
J.D. Martinez DH 357 26 60 71 2 .327 .392 .642 .431 176 3.2 3.6
Andrew Benintendi (L) LF 373 13 58 53 16 .279 .362 .492 .364 130 2.8 2.1
Xander Bogaerts SS 302 13 37 47 2 .276 .341 .504 .359 126 2.4 1.4
Mitch Moreland (L) 1B 254 11 38 40 1 .288 .354 .533 .377 139 1.5 1.6
Brock Holt (L) Util 175 1 18 19 3 .294 .371 .405 .339 113 0.9 0.6
Rafael Devers (L) 3B 349 14 41 47 5 .245 .289 .436 .306 90 0.9 -0.1
Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) CF 284 6 34 25 9 .202 .296 .332 .278 70 0.7 0.5
Sandy Leon (S) C 127 4 16 16 1 .248 .294 .402 .301 86 0.5 0.7
Steve Pearce !B/DH 13 0 1 1 0 .308 .308 .462 .327 104 0.0 0.1
Eduardo Núñez 2B 292 6 34 22 4 .257 .289 .373 .287 77 -0.3 -1.0
Blake Swihart (S) C/LF 86 0 6 3 2 .165 .233 .190 .197 14 -0.6 -0.7
Christian Vázquez C 214 3 18 12 1 .212 .249 .300 .242 45 -0.6 -0.6

As a club, the Red Sox are slashing .266/.331/.456 with a .337 wOBA and a 112 wRC+. That 112 wRC+ trails just the Yankees and Astros. For perspective, the only active Royal who can match that wRC+ on the season is Whit Merrifield (also 112). It feels like this series might not go so well.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against the Red Sox?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Royals sweep (ha)
    (25 votes)
  • 3%
    Royals take two of three
    (7 votes)
  • 25%
    Red Sox take two of three
    (53 votes)
  • 58%
    Red Sox sweep
    (122 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now