Boston Red Sox (89-64) vs. Cincinnati Reds (66-88)
MLB Baseball: Sunday, September 24th, 1:10 pm EST
Doug Fister (5-8, 5.46 ERA) vs. Jackson Stephens (2-0, 4.80 ERA)
Line: Boston -130/Cincinnati +120
The Red Sox close out a three game series versus the Reds in a late season inter league matchup. The Sox won the opening game 5-4 on Friday night, and it was their seventh win in their last eight contests. Everyone is talking about the red hot Indians and the Astros, but the Red Sox have great depth in their starting pitching and an ace with Chris Sale at the top. I think they’ll be tough to beat in the playoffs.
The Reds have been frisky over the second half of the season, but they just don’t have the talent to keep up. They are now on a four game losing streak, but they had played almost .500 ball for the last two months, which considering their lack of talent, is pretty exceptional.
Fister goes for the Red Sox
Doug Fister gets the call for the Red Sox on Sunday, and he’ll look to keep the winning ways going for the Red Sox. He had won three out of four starts, before a rough stretch recently. He’s gone 0-1 with a no-decision over his last two starts, and they have both been ugly outings. He has gone a total of six innings in those two starts and given up 11 earned runs.
Before that, he was starting to pitch like the Fister of old, climbing from 2-6 to 5-7 and looking good in doing it. Since the Red Sox virtually have the division sewn up, Fister may well be pitching for his playoff life over his next few starts. I think he’s more likely to end up in the bullpen.
Jackson Stephens goes for the Reds
Jackson Stephens gets the call for the Reds on Sunday and he will look to remain perfect early in his career. He is making his third start and seventh career appearance and brings a 2-0 record into the game. He’s very lucky he didn’t lose his first game ever in his last start, going only 3.2 innings and giving up five earned runs in the process, but the Reds offense bailed him out.
He’s had an interesting first few months in the league. In his first start he gave up three earned runs and in his latest he gave up the five earned runs, but in his other three appearances, he’s gone 6.1 innings without giving up a run, and only giving up two hits. He’s a bit feast or famine at the moment.
The Boston Red Sox are:
- 6-0 in their last 6 vs. National League Central
- 4-0 in their last 4 road games
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 0-4 in their last 4 overall
- 17-46 in their last 63 inter league games
- 1-8 in their last 9 home games versus a team with a winning record
The Red Sox are playing their best baseball of the year and it’s just at the right time. I don’t see them losing Sunday and I actually think they have a great chance of coming out of the American League this year.