Records Entering Series: BAL (5-8, 4th in AL East), BOS (10-2, 1st in AL East)
Baltimore comes into Boston sitting in 4th place in the division. Their roster isn’t as strong as it has been in the last handful of years, but division opponents are always tough, and they’re expected to give the 1st place Red Sox a good fight.
Hitters to Watch
BAL: Manny Machado – Baltimore’s most dangerous hitter is easily Machado. He’s hitting .321 with 3 HR so far, and with his contract expiring after this year, he’s looking to perform at his highest level ever in search of a big deal in the offseason.
BOS: Mookie Betts – Mookie is Boston’s hottest hitter and is acting as the perfect catalyst to big innings at the top of the order. He’s currently batting .370 with 2 HR, 9 RBI and 14(!) runs scored. He’s coming off of a 9-game hitting streak and will hope to continue his massive production vs. the Orioles.
Pitchers to Watch
BAL: Dylan Bundy – Bundy has been red hot thus far for the Orioles. He’s currently sporting a 1.35 ERA and a .95 WHIP with 25 K’s in 20 IP. He’ll face off against Chris Sale in a matchup of aces in the 3rd game of the series.
BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez – Rodriguez was up and down in his first start of the year vs. Tampa, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits in 3.2 IP. We did see some good things from him, particularly is fastball velocity, resulting 7 K’s. Just back from the DL, he’ll look to build on the foundation he laid in that first start this time around against Baltimore.
Matchup to Watch: J.D. Martinez vs. Baltimore pitching.
Martinez is hitting .448 with 4 HR and 12 RBI in the last two years vs. Baltimore (44 plate appearances). He’s beginning to drive the ball really well of late, so we should be seeing an upturn in his production in the near future.