This upcoming three-game series against Minnesota will tell us a lot about this Red Sox team.
A short Twitter exchange between two of my co-writers made me think of a question: Are the Red Sox back? After yesterday’s comeback win against the Orioles that extended the Red Sox winning streak to five games, catcher Christian Vazquez stopped by the media and said, “Hey guys – We’re back.”
But, are the Red Sox back? Yes, the team has played well these last five games and the offense is starting to seem like it’s coming alive, but it was the 21-50 Baltimore Orioles. I love that Vazquez said that – I really do. A sweep can do wonders to a teams confidence and maybe the Red Sox are starting to get a little mojo, but for me – the team is going to have to play well this week for me to claim that they are back.
The Twins are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. In their last ten games, the team is 7-3, sitting atop of the leaderboard in their division, and currently ten games ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. And that’s after the Indians are putting together a bit of a run themselves, also going 7-3 in their last ten games. The Twins are currently leading the majors in home runs (137), runs (417), team batting average (.275), slugging percentage (.515) and OPS (.857). To say that the Red Sox could use a big series against this red-hot team would be a bit of an understatement. It would be huge.
Let’s take a look at the pitching matchups for this series:
6/17, 8:10 PM ET: Jose Berrios vs. Rick Porcello
Berrios has pitched really well this season going 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 89.2 innings pitched. However, it’s interesting to note that Berrios has gone 0-2 against the Red Sox in his career with a 4.15 ERA.
Porcello has been struggling lately and will hopefully end his losing streak tonight against the Twins. Over his last 17.1 innings, Porcello has allowed 11 runs and 22 hits.
6/18, 8:10 PM ET: Michael Pineda vs. David Price
Michael Pineda has struggled this season for the Twins. In 13 games started and 69.2 innings pitched, Pineda has gone 4-3, posting a 5.04 ERA. Several Red Sox hitters such as Betts, Bradley, and Martinez have found success against Pineda in the past and will look to continue that trend.
David Price will look to shake off his previous start where he allowed six runs in 1.1 innings pitched on Tuesday night against the Twins. Overall, the Twins lineup has done well against Price. In his last five starts against the Twins, Price has gone 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA.
6/19, 8:10 PM ET: Kyle Gibson vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Kyle Gibson is another guy in this Twins rotation that has pitched well. The Twins righty has gone 7-3 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in 75.1 innings pitched this season. Last season, the Red Sox went up against Gibson twice, only scoring three runs and striking out 12 times.
Eduardo Rodriguez has had a few really strong starts lately and the lefty will look to have another one against this strong Twins lineup on Wednesday. The last time Rodriguez faced the Twins was back in 2017 where he tossed six innings and allowed three runs.
The Red Sox need to perform well this series if they want to continue their win streak and their chase for first place in the AL East. With a win tonight, the Red Sox would have a season-long winning streak of eight games. They could really use it. First pitch is set for 8:10 PM ET.
All stats via Baseball Reference
Photo of Devers and Martinez courtesy of WCVB Boston