#923 Oakland A'svs.#924 Boston Red Sox
Written by Chris Kubala
Oakland A’s (63-81 SU, 76-68 RL, 80-60-4 O/U) vs. Boston Red Sox (82-62 SU, 75-69 RL, 63-75-6 O/U)
MLB: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, 7:10 pm ET
Lines: Boston -195, Oakland +182; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the continuation of a series between an also-ran and a division leader in Beantown. The Oakland A’s play the middle game of a three game series with the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night. Boston cruised to an easy 11-1 victory in the opening game of the set Tuesday night. Will the A’s square the series by taking the middle game or is Boston primed to poise itself for a sweep when the finale rolls around Thursday night?
Oakland had their five game win streak snapped as they were dusted in the opening game of the set. The A’s are the third-worst team in the American League and are out of playoff contention even after their five game win streak. Oakland scored in the top of the first but that was all in the game. The A’s finished with three hits: Jed Lowrie knocked in Chad Pinder with a RBI double. Matt Olson and Franklin Barreto had singles for Oakland. Sean Manaea (10-10) took the loss on the mound as he allowed seven runs on 11 hits with no walks and four strikeouts over 3.2 innings.
Jharel Cotton makes his 23rd start of the season for Oakland in this contest. He is 7-10 with a 5.82 ERA, a 1.479 WHIP, 50 walks and 96 strikeouts over 119 innings of work. Cotton recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came at home against the Astros Friday. He threw five innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in an eventual 9-8 Oakland win. Cotton is 1-0 with a 7.20 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP, five walks and 14 strikeouts over 15 innings in his last three starts. In his 28th major league start, he faces the Red Sox for the first time in his career. That makes for the first start for Cotton at Fenway Park in his career.
Boston rolled to an easy win over the A’s in the opener of this set to get back on track. With the win and the Yankees loss, the Red Sox extended their lead in the AL East to four games. Boston got three hits from Dustin Pedroia (two runs, RBI), Mookie Betts (two runs, six RBI) and Xander Bogaerts (two runs, RBI) in the game. Chris Young (run) and Christian Vazquez (two runs, two RBI) each had a pair of hits. The offensive barrage was more than enough for Eduardo Rodriguez (5-5) to pick up his first win since May 26. He threw six innings, allowing one run on one hit with four walks and nine strikeouts.
Doug Fister, who was picked up back in June with the rash of injuries affecting the Red Sox’s pitching staff, takes the ball for his 15th appearance and 12th start of the year. He is 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA, a 1.276 WHIP, 31 walks and 65 strikeouts over 73.2 innings of work. Fister picked up the victory in his last start, which came last Wednesday at home against the Blue Jays. He threw seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts in a 6-1 Red Sox victory. Fister is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, six walks and 21 strikeouts over 21 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 18th career start against the A’s here: he is 8-7 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.243 WHIP over 103 innings of work. Fister is 5-7 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.486 WHIP over 69.1 innings in 12 appearances, 11 starts, at Fenway Park in his career.
The A’s were on a roll before getting silenced in the opener of this set. Getting outhit 16-3 is a surefire way to come up on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Oakland now has to face a resurgent Fister, who has won five of his last seven starts. Boston is trying to hold off the Yankees in the AL East to avoid playing in the wild card game. The Red Sox are a deep team with plenty of talent: they should have enough offense in this contest to deliver the victory.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.