Series Preview: Boston Red Sox, April 16-18

A little jump to the left .... - Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians conclude their opening home stand of 2013 with another AL East team, the Boston Red Sox.

The Indians continue their sampling of the AL East with the Boston Red Sox. The three game set is scheduled for Tuesday April 16 through Thursday April 18, all with 7:05 PM start times. After this series, they head out on their second road trip of the year to the newest AL member, the Houston Astros.

Team in a Box

Boston Red Sox

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

8-4

Runs/Game

4.8

5th

Runs/Game

2.9

1st

AL East

1st

OBP

335

4th

H/9

7.3

1st

Last 10

6-4

SLG

416

7th

BB/9

3.4

9th

Last 30

N/A

Steals

11

2nd

SO/9

10.0

2nd

After a terrible 2012, the Red Sox have gotten off to a hot start. They are averaging close to 5 runs a game but are only twelfth in total bases, so they have been "clutch" so far. Their pitching is what has made them so good so far. They lead the league in ERA, allow the fewest hits and are second in strikeouts. That does not bode well for our lineup. But, we have proven the critics wrong so far this early in the season, but that is a still a very small sample size.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

CF

Jacoby Ellsbury

L

53

255

283

431

95

RF

Shane Victorino

S

49

341

388

364

111

2B

Dustin Pedroia

R

49

333

429

381

128

1B

Mike Napoli

R

47

217

234

413

75

C

Jarrod Saltamacchia

S

32

250

344

808

122

3B

Will Middlebrooks

R

46

233

261

558

119

SS

Stephen Drew

L

16

077

250

077

-3

DH

Jonny Gomes

R

22

176

364

235

72

LF

Jackie Bradley JR

L

35

107

286

143

25

With Ortiz out, Nava and Gomes have been splitting DH duties. Overall, this lineup is pretty good. It has decent pop with Napoli and Middlebrooks. Pedroia has a bit of power sometimes and is pretty pesky in general. Victorino is off to a hot start while Bradley has been struggling. If he is benched, expect Nava in left instead.

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

April 16

Felix Doubrant (Jimenez)

L

5.40

5.0

16.2

0.0

10.8

April 17

Alfredo Aceves (Masterson)

R

6.75

9.1

10.6

4.8

8.7

April 18

Jon Lester (McAllister)

L

1.42

19.0

7.1

1.4

8.5

Doubrant has been ok in two career starts against the Tribe, a 4.35 ERA in 10.1 innings. And as he is a lefty, I fear the worst. Aceves is getting a spot start due to the Lackey injury. He has never started against the Indians, but has been ok in 6 relief appearances, a 2.35 ERA and 9.4 K/9. Lester is off to a fantastic start and historically dominates us, a 5-1 record with a 3.34 ERA and 9.7 K/9 in 11 starts. But with how we have done against Dickey, Price and Sale, maybe this is our time to strike at him, not just strike out.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Joel Hanrahan

R

11.57

4.2

11.6

9.6

7.7

Junichi Tazawa

R

1.50

6.0

9.0

0.0

6.0

Andrew Bailey

R

0.00

4.1

2.1

4.2

14.5

Other than Hanrahan, this bullpen has gotten off to a good start. Tazawa doesn't throw extremely hard, but gets guys out. Bailey has been dominant so far, almost striking out 50% of the batters he has faces. The lone lefty is Andrew Miller, but he hasn't thrown much yet. Former Oriole, Koji Uehara is the other likely set-up guy.

On the Shelf

  • CF Ryan Kalish (right shoulder surgery) - 60-day DL, possible July return
  • RP Craig Breslow (left shoulder tendinitis) - 15-day DL, possible April return
  • SP John Lackey (right biceps strain) - 15-day DL, possible late April return
  • RP Franklin Morales (bulging disc) - 15-day DL, no timetable noted
  • DH David Ortiz (sore right achilles) - 15-day DL, possible April 19 return
  • RP Joel Hanrahan (right hamstring) - day to day, no DL expected

If Hanrahan can't make a go of it, Andrew Bailey is expected to be the closer. And with Lackey going down, Aceves will take his spot for the time being.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2012

3

5

375

28

48

272

Last 5

16

25

390

170

212

400

Last 10

30

44

405

344

388

445

All-Time

1024

963

515

9261

9007

513

X
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