Game time: 1:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Southwest, NESN, MLB Network
Season-to-date (entering Saturday)
Rangers: 42-80 (Last place, AL West)
Red Sox: 70-54 (3rd place, AL East)
Recent form (entering Saturday)
Rangers: 3-7 in last 10, lost four straight
Red Sox: 5-5 in last 10
Brock Holt (L) 3B
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R) SS
Adolis Garcia (R) RF
DJ Peters (R) CF
Jonah Heim (S) C
Yohel Pozo (R) DH
Yonny Hernandez (S) 2B
Jason Martin (L) LF
Andy Ibanez (R) 1B
Enrique Hernandez (R) 2B
Rafael Devers (L) 3B
Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
Kyle Schwarber (L) DH
J.D. Martinez (R) LF
Alex Verdugo (L) RF
Christian Vazquez (R) C
Jarren Duran (L) CF
Bobby Dalbec (R) 1B
Projected starting pitchers: Kolby Allard (TEX) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (BOS)
Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Red Sox -280, Rangers +225
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Rangers - Red Sox preview
The Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers will wrap up their three-game set Sunday in Boston in this ongoing battle of lopsided talent.
Such a discrepancy was on display in the series opener at Fenway Park Friday night. The Red Sox got five shutout innings from ace Chris Sale in his second big-league start since returning from Tommy John surgery. You couldn’t ask for two better starts for Sale to come back to; the Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles.
Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to propel the Boston offense. Enrique Hernandez and Alex Verdugo also pitched in with two runs batted in a piece. Boston snapped a three-game losing streak in the process.
But while it’s all happiness and butterflies for avenging the three-game series sweep they suffered at the hands of the New York Yankees this week, the Red Sox enter Saturday night currently on the outside looking in of the playoffs. The Red Sox trail the Oakland Athletics by a half-game for the second wild card, and trail the Yankees by 1.5 games in the wild card and American League East standings.
Sitting at the top comfortably with the best record in the American League are the Tampa Bay Rays, 5.5 games in the clear.
Nathan Eovaldi will get the start on the mound for the Red Sox. The Boston defacto ace is 10-8 with a 3.91 ERA to his credit. He’ll get the call following Eduardo Rodriguez’s start on Saturday in Game 2.
While the Red Sox are using August as hopefully a polishing moment to make a playoff run, the month hasn’t been kind to the lowly Rangers in anything but a postseason push. They’ve only had five wins this month and have scored one run or less eight times in that stretch. They’re coming off a three-game sweep by way of the Seattle Mariners, with the finale being an exciting 9-8 loss Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington
Dane Dunning lasted only 4.2 IP on Friday while allowing 5 ER and only striking out one. Talk about a difference in pitching matchup Friday, as the Rangers lost to stretch it to a four-game losing streak.
Texas mustered seven hits Friday and didn’t score. First baseman Andy Ibanez, the ninth man in the lineup, had two of those hits to raise his season batting average to a whopping .221. It’s also a problem when your clean-up hitter is batting .167. Shoutout to DJ Peters for showing us stats are meaningless (batting less than .170 this season).
Kolby Allard is expected to take the mound for the Rangers. The left-hander has been abysmal this year going 3-10 with a 4.88 ERA, but his WHIP of 1.19 isn’t too bad. Not the most ideal choice in contests this year for Texas, but what else can be done until Jack Leiter arrives? Jordan Lyles is on the bump for Saturday’s matchup.
Surprisingly enough, the Rangers lead the regular-season series 3-2. That may ultimately change this year, but that’s one win to hang your hat on this late into the season.
Texas is 14-46 on the road this season. So what we’re saying is they don’t show up at first pitch.
Boston has done well as a heavy favorite at home, going 6-0.
The Red Sox can’t afford to slip up with a month remaining. Against a Rangers team searching for answers, it’d be difficult to expect them to win at least one more. This one will be close though. Red Sox win 5-4.
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