When and where: June 13, 2019, Fenway Park, Boston, MA, 7:10 PM ET
After putting an end to a three-game losing streak, the Boston Red Sox will try to split even with the feisty Texas Rangers on Thursday in an ensuing four-game series. The Rangers opened up a two-game lead right out the gates on the defending champions, who are coming off a series loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Meanwhile, the Rangers recently split a four-game series with the Oakland Athletics. Right-handed pitcher Adrian Sampson gets the nod to start in Thursday’s closeout game against Boston’s David Price.
Can Rangers avoid another slip up?
After taking a commanding lead early in the series, the Rangers didn’t get the offensive help they needed to close the deal on Wednesday. There wasn’t much help on the mound, either.
WALK 👏 IT 👏 OFF!
*Emphasis on the walk pic.twitter.com/fgWpjt3Q8g
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) June 12, 2019
The series is starting to resemble the Rangers’ previous meeting against the A’s, who managed to tie things up in the end after a closely-contested game. It’s already impressive enough to see the Rangers hang with some of the standout teams in the league, but if they have any hope of closing the gap on the Houston Astros, they’re going to have to close the deal in big games.
They currently sit 10 wins behind the Astros in second place in the AL West division with the A’s and Los Angeles Angels breathing down their necks. Outside of Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox, the Rangers have struggled to generate runs on offense, despite being the second-highest run-scoring team in the league.
Sampson will at least try to make things difficult on the Red Sox on the other end when he starts at pitcher on Thursday. The 27-year-old Washington native is pitching a 3.72 ERA with a 5-3 record. There is hope within the Rangers organization that he delivers the same stellar performances we’ve seen from him in recent outings. He played iron-man ball in his last appearance, going toe-to-toe with the A’s batting lineup for nine straight innings and allowing only four hits and one earned run, while amassing seven strikeouts.
Fenway Park becoming a house of horrors for the Red Sox
Fenway Park should be a place of strength for the Red Sox—a place where opponents actually dread playing. That was the case last season when they amassed a 57-24 record on their home field. They are well on their way towards blowing past those losses in 2019 with a 16-17 record, and they have yet to even reach the halfway point in their schedule.
The Red Sox have lost consecutive home meetings to the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros. Granted, they aren’t losing to bad teams, but they also aren’t living up to the expectations of a perennial championship contender, much less a defending champion. They currently sit in third place behind the New York Yankees and Rays in the AL East division with a better road record (19-17) than they have at home.
Price will try to pitch them out of another hole when he steps on the mound on Thursday. The former ace pitched a gem against the Rays in the Red Sox’s only win in the previous series. He retired 10 batters on the mound, while only allowing five hits and one earned run in six innings. The Rangers could be in big trouble if he has another game like that. He is currently throwing a 2.70 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 60 total innings.
- Rangers are 2-5 in their last 7 games against a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15
- Rangers are 7-19 in their last 26 during game 4 of a series
- Rangers are 0-5 in Sampson’s last 5 road starts
- Red Sox are 20-7 in Price’s last 27 starts against a team with a winning record
- Red Sox are 28-11 in Price’s last 39 starts
- Red Sox are 38-15 in Price’s last 53 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
- Red Sox are 24-11 in Price’s last 35 starts on grass