Texas pulls into Boston in a battle of two teams that are underachieving, although the Red Sox are much more of a culprit than the Rangers.
Most baseball experts, and even people who actually know that they are talking about, picked the Rangers to finish behind the Astros. So, right now, they are about where they are supposed to be, even if it’s come the hard way.
But the Red Sox were the darlings of the off-season. They were the popular pre-season pick to win the World Series. They won the Mitch Moreland sweepstakes, after all. And, in a minor deal that was went pretty much under the radar, they traded for lefty Chris Sale.
That gave them a rotation of Sale, David Price, reining Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, thirteen-game winner Steven Wright, and Drew Pomeranz. It was a ticket to the World Series if ever there was one.
Except those tickets have a way of not being punched.
Rick Porcello had one of those out-of-nowhere seasons where everything went his way, going 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA. The season before, his first in Boston, he went 9-15 with a 4.92. That was much closer to where he had been.
Like a one-hit wonder desperately trying for another chart topper, Rick Porcello can’t seem to find the groove a second time. He’s 2-5 with an ERA of 4.23. His career ERA is 4.20. So, he’s about where he should be.
Steven Wright is a knuckleball pitcher. Those are about as reliable as campaign promise.
Then there’s David Price. He’s one of the most overrated pitchers in baseball. He will win you lots of games—that don’t matter. And lose you lots of games—that do.
Last year, the Red Sox got some incredible seasons from their offense. Many of them didn’t have the track record. The most productive of all came from David Ortiz. His offense was replaced by Mitch Moreland. It’s like dumping Anne Hathaway for Melissa McCarthy.
At 22-21, the Red Sox are about where they should be.
Now it’s just a matter of the Rangers figuring out how to beat the two lefties Boston is going to throw at them the next three games.
The Rangers tend to underachieve against lefties.
Andrew Cashner (1-3, 2.45) vs. Rick Porcello (2-5, 4.23)
Game time: 6:10