Records entering series: BOS (3-1, 1st in AL East), MIA (2-2, 4th in NL East)
Hitters to Watch
Miami: Starlin Castro – Believe it or not, Castro is really the big name in Miami right now. Acquired from the Yankees in the Stanton trade, he has a career BA of .282 and fared pretty well in the opening series, going 5-17 with 3 RBI.
Boston: J.D. Martinez – Martinez is still homerless this year (0 in Spring Training, 0 in the first series of the season vs. TB). He collected just 3 hits and 1 RBI against the Rays and will be looking to get his bat going vs. Miami. No one is worried just yet about Martinez going forward, but the sooner he starts hitting, the better.
Pitchers to Watch
Miami: Jose Urena -The de facto #1 for the Marlins this year, Urena had a horrible showing vs. the Cubs on Opening Day. He’ll be hoping to bounce back in game 2 of this series, but will have his work cut out for him going up against Boston ace Chris Sale.
Boston: Brian Johnson – Johnson will be making just his 6th ever Major League start. It’s an important one for him, as he’s filling in for the injured Eduardo Rodriguez and looking to secure a long term spot in the bullpen once E-Rod returns. He had a fantastic Spring and will look to build on that.
Matchup to Watch: The Boston bullpen vs. Marlins hitters.
The Sox ‘pen had a horrid display in game 1, giving up 6 runs in Tampa’s comeback win. They redeemed themselves in the following days, allowing just 1 run in 9 innings combined over the final 3 games of the series. They were the biggest question mark entering the season, and they haven’t done enough yet to quell those apprehensions regarding their effectiveness as a whole.