Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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MLB Preview: Boston Red Sox (26-21) at Los Angeles Angels (25-23)

BOSTON RED SOX NOTES:

STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox have won 4 of their last 5 games, outscoring opponents 31-17 during that span. The Sox are 13-7 in their last 20 games, beginning 4/29…They went on an 8-game winning streak from 4/29-5/6 and a 4-game winning streak from 5/16-20. The Sox rank 9th in MLB in win % (26-21, .553)… Their record would rank no lower than 3rd in any other division, including 1st place in both the AL Central and NL Central.

AL WILD CARD STANDINGS
Rk. Team W-L Pct. GB

  1. Baltimore 31-16 .660 +3.5
  2. New York-AL 29-20 .592 +0.5
  3. Houston 27-19 .587 –
  • Boston 26-21 .553 -1.5
  • Toronto 25-22 .532 -2.5

SOX & ANGELS: Tonight will mark the 5th of 7 scheduled meetings between the Red Sox and Angels in 2023…BOS won their 4-game series at Fenway Park from 4/14-17 (3-1). The Sox are 6-2 in their last 8 games against the Halos and are 20-10 vs. LAA since the start of 2018. The Sox have won 3 of their last 4 series at Angel Stadium of Anaheim since the start of 2018, going 9-4 at the venue during that span.

BEST WESTERN: Since the start of 2022, the Red Sox are 30-10 against AL West opponents (5-2 this season). The Sox went 12-4 at AL West ballparks in 2022, outscoring opponents 67-44 in those games. Boston’s 2.54 ERA (40 ER/141.2 IP) in AL West ballparks since the start of 2022 is the lowest mark in MLB (min. 5 games).

TOUGH TEST: The Red Sox are tied for 1st in MLB in strength of schedule this season (also OAK and TOR). The Red Sox are 15-14 (.517) against teams with a .500 winning percentage or better…Their 15 wins are tied with NYY for 3rd most in MLB (TB-17, BAL-16). Each of the Sox’ next 2 opponents have a winning record: LAA (25-23) and ARI (27-20).

ROAD TRIPPING: Tonight continues the Sox’ 11-day, 9-game road trip at SD (2-1), LAA (3 G), and ARI (3 G). The trip is tied for the Sox’ longest of the season by days…It is their 2nd-longest trip of the season by games played (10 games in 11 days from 8/14-24 at WSH, NYY, and HOU).

SERIES BUSINESS: The Red Sox are 10-4-1 in series play, including 8-2-1 in their last 11 series and 5-1-1 in their last 6. In 2022, they did not win their 10th series until 6/17-19.

PITCHING IN: Red Sox pitchers have allowed 4 ER or fewer in each of their last 5 games, posting a 2.45 ERA and .171 opponent AVG in that span (44.0 IP, 12 ER, 27-for-158). In those 5 games, Sox relievers allowed only 3 ER (1.47 ERA) while holding opponents to a .113 AVG (7-for-62). Prior to yesterday’s game, Red Sox relievers tossed 6.0 consecutive hitless innings…They had allowed 0 hits to their previous 22 batters faced (0-for-19, 3 BB).

START ME UP: Red Sox starting pitchers have tossed at least 5.0 innings in 22 of their last 24 games, including 9 of their last 10. Sox starters posted a 3.62 ERA in the last 10 games (22 ER/54.2 IP), after entering that span with a 5.71 ERA.

RUNNIN’ RED SOX: The Red Sox lead MLB in SB% (88.2%, 30-for-34)…They went 3-for-3 in Saturday’s game. The Sox ranked 22nd in SB% in 2022 (72.2%, 52-for-72).

YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Red Sox lost yesterday’s series finale in San Diego, 7-0…They snapped a 4-game winning streak, their 2nd longest of the season (8 games, 4/29-5/6). The Sox were held scoreless on 7 hits, all singles. It was just the 2nd time this season the Sox have not recorded an XBH and also the 2nd time they’ve been held scoreless (both happened last on 4/10 at TB).

TRENDING UP: After starting the season 5-8, the Red Sox are 21-13 (.618) in their last 34 games (since 4/14)…They own MLB’s 5th-best record in that time, behind BAL (.706, 24-10), TEX (.647, 22-12), HOU (.629, 21-12), and LAD (.647, 22-12). Since 4/14, the Sox rank 2nd in MLB in AVG (.282) and OBP (.347), and rank 3rd in OPS (.803) and hits (329).

SLUGGING SOX: The Red Sox lead MLB in doubles (105) rank 3rd in AVG (.268) and XBH (166), and rank 4th in OBP (.338), SLG (.445), OPS (.783), hits (433), and runs scored (258). The Red Sox have scored 5+ runs in 27 games, 5th most in MLB (TB-29, LAD-29, TEX-28, BAL-28). The Sox have recorded 10+ hits in 20 games, 5th most in MLB (TEX-25, TB-24, STL-22, LAA-21).

RED SOX OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
Stat MLB Rank
258 runs 4th
433 hits 4th
105 doubles 1st
166 XBH 3rd
20.3 SO% 5th
Stat MLB Rank
.268 AVG 3rd
.338 OBP 4th
.445 SLG 4th
.783 OPS 4th
111 wRC+ T-5th

SOX STRIKEOUTS: Red Sox batters have struck out 367 times, 2nd fewest in the AL and 5th fewest in MLB. The Sox struck out 10+ times in each of their 6 games vs. TB and ATL (11.2 SO/game) but have done so just 5 times in their other 41 games (7.3 SO/game).

DON’T START WITH US: Starting pitchers have completed at least 6.0 innings in just 9 starts against the Red Sox this season, fewest of any team in MLB. Starters have lasted fewer than 4.0 innings in 13 starts vs. BOS this season, most in MLB…No other team has more than 9 such starts against them. Starting pitchers are 15-17 with a 6.07 ERA vs. BOS.

SOX SPLITS: The Red Sox rank 2nd in MLB vs. RHP in AVG (.271), SLG (.456), OPS (.789), and OPS+ (118). Against LHP, the Sox rank 2nd in the AL in hits (134), XBH (53), BB (58), and TB (215). Right-handed starting pitchers have a 5.51 ERA vs. BOS; left-handed starters have a 7.36 ERA.
Left-handed starters have posted only 1 quality start in 17 games vs. the Red Sox this season…The Red Sox are 9-2 in their last 11 games vs. a left-handed starting pitcher.

ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD: The Red Sox’ outfielders lead MLB in AVG (.304), OBP (.375), OPS (.875), hits (168), doubles (48), XBH (69), and runs (102). In 2022, Sox outfielders batted .243 with a .301 OBP, .375 SLG, and .676 OPS.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Red Sox players 27 or younger have combined to hit 37 of the team’s 58 HR (Devers-13, Casas-6, Verdugo-5, Wong-4, Duran-3, Chang-3, Valdez-3). Position players 27 or younger have posted 4.3 fWAR for the Red Sox, tied for 2nd most of any team (TB7.7)…Their 37 HR rank 3rd in MLB (CWS-40, TB-38).

HELP IS ON THE WAY: Garrett Whitlock tossed 4.2 scoreless innings in a rehab start yesterday for Triple-A Worcester against Lehigh Valley (4 H, BB, 4 SO, 79 pitches). Whitlock also started for the WooSox on Tuesday and allowed 1 R in 4.0 IP (5 H, 4 SO, 49 pitches).

TONIGHT’S STARTER: 89 TANNER HOUCK – RHP
W-L ERA G GS IP ER HR BB SO WHIP AVG
2023 3-3 5.48 8 8 42.2 26 5 15 38 1.31 .253
CAREER 12-12 3.58 61 28 188.2 75 13 67 202 1.17 .222

Has faced the Angels 3 times, once as a starter (4/14/23)…His lone outing at Angel Stadium of Anaheim was on 6/7/22 (W, 2.0 IP, 0 R). Retired the first 11 batters he faced on Monday vs. SEA, then allowed 4 runs in his final 1.1 IP (5.0 IP, 4 ER, BB, 5 SO, HR). Has thrown 5.0+ innings in 7 of his 8 starts, including each of his last 5. The Sox are 17-11 in his 28 career starts…Allowed 3 ER or fewer in 26 of those. Has allowed 0 HR to his last 268 RHH faced (last: José Abreu on 9/10/21)…He is the only pitcher to face 150+ RHH since the start of 2022 and allow 0 HR. Has an expected ERA of 3.98

LOS ANGELES ANGELS NOTES:

LEADING OFF: Today, the Angels play the fourth (2-1) of nine games on a homestand against the Minnesota Twins (2-1), Boston Red Sox (May 22-24) and Miami Marlins (May 26-28)…Halos went 3-4 on last road trip to Cleveland (1-2) and Baltimore (2-2)…LAA was 2-4 on last homestand against the Rangers (1-2) and Astros (1-2).

BARRIA ON THE BUMP: Today, Jaime Barria makes his first start for the Angels since Aug. 6, 2021 in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Seattle…He made 55 starts for the Angels between the 2018-21 seasons…This season from the bullpen, he has gone 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA (23 IP – 5 ER) and 21 strikeouts.

ESTÉVEZ ENDING: This season, Carlos Estévez is pitching to a 1.23 ERA (22 IP – 3 ER) and has converted all 12 of his save opportunities (the 12 saves are a new career high)…He is the first Angels pitcher to convert his first 12 save opportunities of a season since Ernesto Frieri in 2012 and is looking to become the first Halos closer to convert his first 13 save chances since Troy Percival had 16 straight successful save opportunities to begin the 2001 season.

LEAGUE LEADER: Shohei Ohtani, leads the Majors in opponent batting average (.142), and ranks third in strikeouts (80) and is fourth in WHIP (0.90).

VS. BOSTON: Today is the fifth (1-3) of seven matchups this season between the Angels and Red Sox…Halos lost three of four games at Fenway Park earlier this season from April 14-17; LAA lost first three games of series before winning the series finale on Patriots’ Day…Boston has won or tied the season series vs. Angels in each of the last four years.

PLAY FROM AHEAD: Halos have held leads in 39 of 48 games played this year.

THE MICK: Mickey Moniak has hits in all six of his starts for the Angels this season, including two leadoff homers and five total extra-base hits…He’s one of seven players in the Majors with multiple leadoff HR this year…On May 13 at Cleveland, became the first player in MLB history to make his season debut on his birthday and hit a leadoff home run.

RECENT ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday, the Angels reinstated LHP Aaron Loup from the injured list and selected the contracts of RHP Reyes Moronta (#52) and RHP Jacob Webb (#71)…In corresponding moves, the Angels optioned RHP Jimmy Herget, RHP Andrew Wantz and RHP Zack Weiss to Triple-A Salt Lake.

WALSH IS BACK: Saturday, the Angels reinstated INF Jared Walsh (headaches and insomnia) from the injured list after missing the first 46 games of the year…He played seven games on rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake and hit .440 (11/25) with nine runs scored, one double, one home run, six RBI, seven walks and a 1.176 OPS…In a corresponding roster move, OF Brett Phillips was designated for assignment.

LEAD ASSISTANT: Hunter Renfroe is tied for the American League lead with five outfield assists this season…Sine 2017, his 61 outfield assists lead the Majors (Starling Marte is second with 52 assists).

LATE COMEBACKS: Halos have three wins this season when trailing after eight innings, which matches the Angels total from each of the last two seasons…Last time LAA had more than three wins in a season when trailing after eight frames was 2017 (5).

SINGLE HANDED: Gio Urshela has hit 43 singles this year plus six extra-base hits (five doubles & one home run)…Urshela ranks second, behind Toronto’s Bo Bichette (45), for the American League lead in singles.

ALL OVER THE INFIELD: Gio Urshela is one of six players in the Majors to appear at all four infield positions this season…He has made 16 starts at first base, 16 starts at third base, eight at shortstop and one at second base.

DINGER DUO: Thursday at Baltimore was the 25th time that Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani homered in the same game…It’s the fourth highest total among duos in Angels history (club record is 48 games – Trout/ Pujols).

UNEARNED: Angels have allowed 26 unearned runs this season, which is the tied for the second-most in the Majors (Colorado has allowed 28 unearned runs)… Halos have committed 32 fielding errors this season, which is tied with Boston and Atlanta for the most in the Majors.

ON THE BOARD: Halos have not been shut out since Aug. 21, 2022 at Detroit…Current streak of 89 games without being shut out is the longest active streak in the Majors and fifth-longest streak in Angels history (fourth longest streak was 90 games in 1995).

‘PEN PALS: The Angels bullpen is pitching to a 3.60 ERA (175 IP – 70 ER) this season, which is the eighth-best ERA in the Majors.

NET-OW: Zack Neto has been hit by seven pitches this season, which is tied for fourth-most in the Majors… Since 1901, Neto’s seven HBP through his first 15 career games are the most in MLB…He also was the first player in Angels history to be hit a pitch in four consecutive games (April 18-21).

MARLINS ON DECK: Following the current series vs. Boston and an off day on Thursday, the Angels will conclude the homestand with a three-game series against the Miami Marlins…Last season, Halos won three of four games against Miami…LAA is 12-7 all-time vs. Miami (6-2 at Angel Stadium).

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER – RHP JAIME BARRIA
1-1, 1.96 ERA
Making first start for Angels since Aug. 6, 2021 (Game 1) at Seattle

  • TODAY’S GAME: Making 11th appearance (first start) of the season and fifth home appearance of the year…Is in sixth Major League season with Angels.
  • FROM THE ‘PEN: Has made 10 relief appearances this season, going 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA (23 IP – 5 ER) and 21 strikeouts.
  • BACK TO START: Today marks 57th career start and first since Aug. 6, 2021 in the first game of a doubleheader at Seattle…Totaled 55 starts for Angels between 2018-22 seasons…Since start of 2018 season, only Andrew Heaney (78), Shohei Ohtani (73) and Patrick Sandoval (65) have made more starts for Angels.
  • LONG RELIEF: Pitched 2+ innings in seven of 10 games this year and 3+ innings in three of 10 outings..The seven relief outings of 2+ innings rank tied for sixth most in the Majors this season…Since start of 2022 season, ranks third in Majors with 22 relief appearances of 2+ innings and is fifth in MLB with 97.2 IP as a reliever since 2022.
  • LAST TIME OUT: Worked 2.2 scoreless innings in last appearance on Wednesday at Baltimore, allowing two hits with one strikeout…Was first appearance since May 5.
  • HOT STRETCH: After allowing four earned runs in season debut on April 4 at Seattle (3.2 IP), has yielded just one earned run since across last nine appearances (19.1 IP)…His 0.47 ERA in that span (since April 8) ranks second in the Majors (min. 15 IP).
  • GOOD DAY: Has pitched to a 2.62 ERA (116.2 IP – 34 ER) in 34 career day games (15 starts), compared with a 4.52 ERA (286.2 IP – 144 ER) in night games (76 games, 41 starts).
  • CAREER HOME vs. ROAD: Has pitched to a 3.33 ERA (197.1 IP – 73 ER) in 54 career games (27 starts) at Angel Stadium, compared with a 4.59 ERA (206 IP – 105 ER) in 56 games (29 starts) on the road.
  • VS. BOSTON: In four career games (two starts) against the Red Sox, is 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA (13.1 IP – 7 ER) and eight strikeouts…Made one relief appearance vs. Boston earlier this year at Fenway Park on April 14 and worked 2.0 scoreless innings.
  • AT ANGEL STADIUM: In 54 career games (27 starts) at Angel Stadium, is 11-13 with a 3.33 ERA (197.1 IP – 73 ER)…This season, is 1-1 with a 1.00 ERA (9 IP – 1 ER) after four home games…As a starter, is 6-11 with a 3.85 ERA (131 IP – 56 ER) and 100 strikeouts in 27 starts at The Big A.
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