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Boston Red Sox Vs Houston Astros Sunday Preview

August 17th, 2014 at 12:17 PM
By Sean Penney

The Boston Red Sox (56-66) finish up their weekend series with the Houston Astros (51-73). Boston has taken two out of three so far after taking back control of the series with a win last night.

David Ortiz led the way by smashing a pair of home runs – the first of which was his 400th career home run in a Red Sox uniform. Only two other players in franchise history have achieved that milestone with the Red Sox and Ortiz is the only lefty hitter to do it. Including his days with the Minnesota Twins, Ortiz now has 459 career home runs, so he'll need to tack on several more over the next six weeks in order to give himself a realistic chance at chasing the 500 Club next year.

Scouting Report

  • Joe Kelly (0-0, 2.08 ERA) gets the start in search of his first win since coming to Boston. He's pitched well in each of his first two starts with the Red Sox, but both came on the road in National League parks – one against his former Cardinals team and the other against the Reds, a former division rival he's very familiar with. This will be his first home start at Fenway and his first time starting against an AL team since he matched up against the Red Sox in the World Series last October. At least he faced the Astros back in 2012 when they were still an NL team, so perhaps this will be a good way to ease him into facing AL teams.
  • After those two home runs last night, David Ortiz is now up to 28 for the season, which is 5th most in the majors. He also now has a major league leading 91 RBI, which is pretty impressive considering Boston has the lowest scoring offense in the AL. His 91 RBI account for 19% of the 474 runs scored by the Red Sox this season.
  • Dustin Pedroia turns 31 today, but the birthday boy is out of the lineup due to illness. At least it's good to hear the reason for his absence isn't related to the bruise he got from fouling a ball off his foot on Friday. The versatile Brock Holt will slide over to cover 2B, allowing for Will Middlebrooks to get back in the lineup at 3B.
  • Mike Napoli is also getting a day off, with Kelly Johnson filling in at 1B. Napoli is only hitting .256 this month, his lowest average in any month this season. However, his .407 OBP is the best of any month he's had this season. Go figure.
  • Collin McHugh (5-9, 3.08 ERA) takes the mound for Houston. He's given up only 1 run in each of his three starts this month, with a 1.40 ERA in August, yet only has one win to show for it during that stretch. Prior to this month, he has lost his last 6 starts, dating back to before a July DL stint that cost him most of the month.
  • Houston has the league's worst bullpen, with a 5.05 ERA and a league low 19 saves. Chad Qualls, Josh Fields and Jose Veras has combined for 15 of those saves, but also have a combined 10 blown saves.

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