Red Sox @ Yankees Series Preview

Let’s put those last two really bad losses behind and move on to a much awaited weekend series against the Boston Red Sox.  As we all know, Boston got off to that awful start and they still have yet to get to .500 as they sit at 17-20 in fourth place in the American League East, five games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays.

What an ugly man. (Reuters)

For the two weeks leading up to this series, the Sox have been consistently inconsistent.  They won three in a row to start the month, then lost three straight, then won three straight, and now come into the Bronx on a two game losing streak.  So if you know anything about patterns and believe in them, you should be that the Yanks will win tonight and lose the next two.

Ellsbury has been having a nice year finally. (Elsa/Getty Images)

As a team, Boston has been pretty good.  They rank fifth in the AL in wOBA (.328), fourth in OBP (.333), seventh in homers (34), and second in BB% (9.8%).  So obviously, their lineup has produced somewhat effectively, they just have been able to translate it to wins.

The BoSox hitters that have been playing nicely are Jacoby Ellsbury (.292/.342/.451), Adrian Gonzalez (.329/.378/.566), David Ortiz (.291/.372/.488), and Jed Lowrie (.327/.360/.505).  Boone Logan better get ready.  Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis have not hit for the highest of averages, but are still getting on base often posting .355 and .394 OBP’s, respectively.  Carl Crawford on the other hand is still struggling as his hitting line sits at .218/.255/.303.  Here’s their projected lineup:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. JD Drew, RF
  7. Jed Lowrie, SS
  8. Carl Crawford, LF
  9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

The real problem with the Red Sox this season has been their starting pitching.  Dice-K has wound up on the disabled list giving way to Tim Wakefield while John Lackey and Clay Buchholz have been sub-par.  As a rotation overall, they have the fourth highest WHIP in the American League (1.35), the third highest FIP (4.39), the fifth highest ERA (4.23), the third lowest K/BB ratio (1.79), and the sixth lowest amount of innings (217).  This has obviously been their weakness.  Here are the pitching match-ups:

Friday

Clay Buchholz (3-3, 4.19 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (2-1, 3.86 ERA)

Saturday

Josh Beckett (2-1, 1.99 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (3-2, 2.89 ERA)

Sunday

Jon Lester (4-1, 2.96 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (2-2, 2.61 ERA)

The one piece of the bullpen that has been stable all throughout the first month or so of the season has been Jonathan Papelbon, coincidentally in a contract year.  The bullpen as a whole has the fourth highest ERA in the AL (4.71) and the sixth worst batting average against (.251).

(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Anyway, it should be a very good series with the first game being played tonight at 7:05 with the first pitch on the YES network.

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