Thursday, July 18, 2024
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MLB Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers (79-48) at Boston Red Sox (68-61)

LOS ANGELES DODGERS NOTES:

TONIGHT’S STARTER at RED SOX: LHP JULIO URĺAS (11-6, 4.15 ERA in 19 GS)
YEAR TEAM W-L ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR

2023 NOTES:

  • In his last start against the Marlins on August 19, he fired seven innings, giving up five hits, one run and one home run while striking out five batters…owns a 4-0 record with a 1.44 ERA (4 ER/25.0 IP) in August
  • Over 19 starts, the southpaw owns a 11-6 record with a 4.15 ERA (49 ER/106.1 IP) with 104 strikeouts and 21 walks…has given up 18 homers and has produced a 1.09 WHIP
  • He is 8-1 with a 2.30 ERA (16 ER/62.2 IP) and 67 strikeouts in 10 starts at home this season
  • In his start against the Rockies on April 4, he hurled six innings of shut-out baseball, tabbing his 600TH career strikeout against Kris Bryant
  • Tossed six innings on Opening Day against the Diamondbacks, giving up four hits and two earned runs while sitting down six…was his first Opening Day nod of his career

VS. RED SOX:

  • Will face Boston for just the second time in his career…is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/2.0 IP)
  • First faced the club on July 13, 2019, tossing two scoreless innings of relief while striking out two in the no decision

BOSTON RED SOX NOTES:
STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox lost last night after winning back-to-back games at HOU…They’re 11-7 in their last 18 games. The Sox are 28-19 (.596) in their last 47 games since 6/30, tied with MIL for MLB’s 6th-best record in that time. At 68-61 (.527), the Red Sox are tied with ARI for MLB’s 11th-best record.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Red Sox out-hit the Dodgers in last night’s series opener, 14-10, but lost the game 7-4. Alex Verdugo (3-for-5) hit a leadoff HR in the 1st inning…Trevor Story (2-for-4) hit a 2-run HR in the 2nd. Kutter Crawford held LAD scoreless through 5.0 innings… He exited with 2 runners on and no outs in the 6th inning and both runners scored (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, 7 SO).

HANG TEN: Last night was Boston’s 54th game with 10+ hits, 3rd most in MLB behind TEX (60) and ATL (57). The Sox have recorded double-digit hits in 8 of their last 12 games, including 4 of their last 5.

DUGIE DOES IT: Alex Verdugo has led off each of the Red Sox’ last 2 games with a HR, his 3rd and 4th career leadoff HR. Verdugo has multiple hits and at least 1 run scored, RBI, and XBH in each of the Boston’s last 3 games (9-for-17, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI). He has 3+ hits in 4 of his last 8 games, batting .405 in that span (15-for-37, 8 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB).

SERIES BUSINESS: The Red Sox are 3-1-1 in their last 5 series…At 22-16-3, they have already matched their series win total from 2022 (22-24-6). BOS split a 4-game series at HOU from Monday-Thursday, their 3rd series tie of 2023 (also at ATL, at MIN). Since the start of July, Boston in 6-1-0 in home series. HOME COOKING: Last night began Boston’s 6-game homestand against LAD (79-48) and HOU (72-58). Boston is 14-7 in its last 21 home games and 35-29 overall, compared to 33-32 on the road. At home, the Sox lead the majors in AVG (.287) and OBP (.351)…They also rank 3rd in SLG (.464) and OPS (.815), and 4th in runs scored per game (5.3).

SOX & DODGERS: Boston is 9-10 against the Dodgers since Interleague play began in 1997, including 6-4 at Fenway Park. The clubs last met in July 2019, when LAD defeated the Sox, 2-1, in a 3-game series in Boston from 7/12-14. The Sox own MLB’s best all-time Interleague record (307-220, .583)…They’re the only team with 300+ wins.

EAST VS. WEST: The Red Sox are in a stretch of 13 straight games against teams outside of the AL East. The Sox won their first 2 series against NL West teams this season (2-1 at SD, 2-1 at ARI), but lost their last 2 (1-2 vs. COL, 1-2 at SF).

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: 23 of Boston’s remaining 33 games will be against teams that currently have a winning record (BAL-7, TB-5, HOU-3, TEX-3, TOR-3, LAD-2). BOS is 35-35 against teams with a current record of .500 or better, and 33-26 against teams below .500.

NO TIME TO REST: The Sox are 6-5 so far in their stretch of 16 consecutive days with a game from 8/15- 30…They’re in a stretch of 32 games in 34 days (7/28-8/30).

SLUGGING SOX: The Red Sox have homered in each of their last 14 games (23 total HR), their longest streak since August 2019 (19 games, 8/7-30). The Sox have homered in 22 of their 23 August games, after homering in only 16 of their previous 28 games. BOS has hit 17 HR in their last 9 games, 2nd most in MLB during that span (beginning 8/17) behind PHI (18).

SCORING IN BUNCHES: The Red Sox have scored multiple runs in an inning at least once in each of their last 12 games (21 multi-run innings in that time). They’ve scored 3+ runs in at least 1 inning in 7 of their last 9 games…Since 6/1, they are 28-3 in games when they score 3+ runs in at least 1 inning.

ON THE OFFENSIVE: The Red Sox have recorded at least 9 hits in 9 consecutive games, their longest streak since 2013 (14 games, 6/21-7/6)…They’re batting .321 with a .380 OBP and .910 OPS in that span. The only teams this season to record longer streaks this season are ATL and TOR (both 10 games). Overall, the Sox lead MLB in doubles (281)…Among AL teams, they rank 2nd in AVG (.265) and XBH (447), and 3rd in OBP (.331), SLG (.438), and OPS (.769).

RISPY BUSINESS: With RISP, Boston ranks 2nd in MLB in hits (321), and ranks 3rd in AVG (.281) and OBP (.356). The Sox went 1-for-8 with RISP last night after going 14-for-33 (.424 AVG) with RISP in their last 2 games. In games they’ve won, the Red Sox have hit .352 with an MLB-best .998 OPS with RISP…In their losses, they’ve hit .174 with a .516 OPS with RISP.

HIGH FIVE: The Red Sox are an MLB-best 55-8 (.873) when scoring 5+ runs…They’ve done so in 8 of their last 12 games, compared to just 2 of their previous 10.
Since 6/14, the Sox are 28-2 when scoring 5+ runs. LOCK IT DOWN: Boston owns MLB’s best record when leading after 6 innings (52-3, .945)…In 2022, they ranked 18th in MLB when leading after 6 (63-10, .863). The Red Sox rank 2nd in MLB in save % (76.0; 38-for-50), after ranking 24th last season (57.4; 39-for-68).

CLOSING ACT: Kenley Jansen has converted each of his last 20 save opportunities since 5/20, MLB’s 2nd-longest active streak behind TOR’s Jordan Romano (21). Since 6/9, Chris Martin has allowed only 1 run over his last 28 outings (25.1 IP); he ranks 2nd in MLB with a 0.36 ERA in that span (min. 20.0 IP).

DAY AND NIGHT: The Red Sox are 23-24 in day games (.489), compared to 45-36 at night (.556)…They’ve won their last 3 day games after losing 9 of their previous 10. This is the 2nd time this season the Sox have won 3 consecutive day games (also 4/6-9 at DET). The Sox have averaged more runs per game during the day (5.26) than at night (4.82), but have posted a lower ERA at night (4.10) than during the day (4.82).

TODAY’S STARTER: 65 JAMES PAXTON – LHP
W-L ERA G GS IP ER HR BB SO WHIP AVG
2023 7-4 3.79 17 17 90.1 38 15 26 97 1.22 .242
CAREER 64-37 3.61 154 154 845.0 339 96 257 928 1.21 .239

Allowed season high 7 runs (6 ER) over 4.0 IP on Monday at HOU (9 H, 3 BB, 4 SO). Has pitched 5.0+ innings in 13 of his 17 starts…Has allowed 2 ER or fewer in 11 of them, and issued 2 or fewer walks in 14 of them. Is 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA (7 ER/13.0 IP) in 2 career starts vs. LAD. 43 of his 96 strikeouts have come with the 4-seam fastball. In his last 14 starts, beginning on 5/31, is 6-3 with a 3.54 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .241 opponent AVG, and 3.90 SO/BB (76.1 IP, 33 R/30 ER, 71 H, 20 BB, 78 SO). Owns a 2.58 home ERA (11 ER/38.1 IP) and a 4.67 road ERA (27 ER/52.0 IP). Is 3-2 with a 3.74 ERA (14 ER/33.2 IP) in 6 starts following a team loss this season

Mikey Balhan Sports

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