Friday, June 2, 2023
5-Hour Energy

MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (15-25) at Boston Red Sox (22-18)


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STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox (22-18, .550) have lost 4 of their last 5 games following a season-long 8-game winning streak from 4/29-5/6.
The Sox have lost back-to-back games after leading in the 9th inning for the 1st time since 6/27-28/2000 vs. BAL (source: ESPN Stats & Info).
They are 0.5 games out of the AL’s 3rd Wild Card spot… AL East teams rank 1-4 in the Wild Card Standings.

Rk. Team W-L Pct. GB

  1. Baltimore 26-13 .667 +4.0
  2. Toronto 23-16 .590 +1.0
  3. New York-AL 23-18 .561 –
  • Boston 22-18 .550 -0.5

RED HOT SOX: The Red Sox are 17-10 (.630) in their last 27 games (beginning 4/14), tied with TEX for MLB’s 3rd-best record in that span (BAL: 19-7, .731; LAD: 18-9, .667). During that 27-game span, the Sox have averaged 5.7 runs/game (154 runs) on 9.9 hits/game (266 hits). Since 4/14, the Red Sox lead MLB in hits, AVG (.285), OBP (.353), and OPS (.819).

SERIES BUSINESS: The Red Sox are 3-1-1 in their last 5 series (2-1 vs. CLE, 4-0 vs. TOR, 2-1 at PHI, 1-1 at ATL, 0-2 vs. STL). The Sox are 8-4-1 overall in series play (5-2-0 at home). Last season, the Sox went 4-7-2 in their first 13 series.

SLUGGING SOX: The Red Sox lead MLB in doubles (91), rank 2nd in hits (370), and rank 3rd in XBH (144), runs (225), AVG (.269), OBP (.340), SLG (.450), and OPS (.790). The Red Sox have scored 5+ runs in 24 games, 1 behind TB for most in MLB…They have done so in 10 of their last 13 games. The Sox have recorded 10+ hits in 18 games, tied for 3rd most in MLB (TB-21, TEX-19).

Stat MLB Rank
225 R 3rd
51 HR 8th
360 H 2nd
144 XBH 3rd
20.3 SO% 5th
Stat MLB Rank
.269 AVG 3rd
.340 OBP 3rd
.450 SLG 3rd
.790 OPS 3rd
113 wRC+ 4th

HOME COOKING: The Red Sox are 13-8 (.619) at Fenway Park, including 11-5 in their last 16 games. The Sox have lost the current 3-game series vs. STL, falling to 5-2-0 in home series and snapping a streak of 4 consecutive series victories at home (3-1 vs. LAA, 2-1 vs. MIN, 2-1 vs. CLE, 4-0 vs. TOR). The Red Sox have hit 13 HR in their last 7 home games.

Stat MLB Rank
13 wins T-4th
6.0 R/game 2nd
10.4 H/game 1st
4.0 XBH/game 2nd
Stat MLB Rank
.295 AVG 1st
.361 OBP 1st
.488 SLG 2nd
.849 OPS 1st

TEAM EFFORT: The Red Sox have an MLB-leading 15 players with at least 5 RBI, including 11 with 10+ RBI. From the 7-9 spots in the lineup, the Sox rank 2nd in MLB in hits (114), RBI (66), and XBH (41).

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Six position players on the Red Sox’ active roster are 27 or younger; they have combined to hit 29 of the team’s 51 HR (Devers-11, Casas-5, Verdugo-5, Wong-4, Duran-2, Valdez-2). Position players age 27 or younger have posted 4.4 fWAR for the Red Sox, 2nd most of any team (TB-6.6).

ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD: The Red Sox’ outfielders lead MLB in AVG (.307), OBP (.377), SLG (.513), OPS (.890), hits (145), doubles (42), XBH (61), runs (87), and RBI (tied, 85). START ME UP: Red Sox starting pitchers have tossed at least 5.0 innings in 16 of their last 17 games. Sox starters have recorded 9+ strikeouts in backto-back games for the 1st time since Chris Sale and David Price did so from 6/25-26/2019. Chris Sale yesterday made the longest start of the season for the Red Sox, his longest since 8/8/19 vs. LAA (8.0 IP).

Pitcher (game) IP H R BB SO
Brayan Bello (Wed. at ATL) 6.0 6 2 1 5
James Paxton (Fri. vs. STL) 5.0 4 2 1 9
Chris Sale (Sat. vs. STL) 8.0 3 1 1 9

PITCHING IN: Five Red Sox pitchers own a relief ERA
below 3.00, tied with CLE for most in MLB (min. 10.0 IP).
The Red Sox rank 2nd in the AL and 6th in MLB in
save % (73.3%, 11-for-15) after ranking 22nd in
MLB 2022 (58.2%, 39-for-67).

Pitcher Relief ERA IP ER
Kutter Crawford 1.08 16.2 2
Chris Martin 1.64 11.0 2
Brennan Bernardino 1.74 10.1 2
John Schreiber 2.16 16.2 4
Josh Winckowski 2.55 24.2 7

MOTHER’S DAY SALE: Chris Sale today is hosting a group of 22 breast cancer survivors and staff members from the New England Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Mother’s Day at Fenway Park. The group will watch the game from a suite donated by Sale and have the chance to tour the ballpark, watch batting practice, and meet with Sale before being recognized on the field before the game.

SOX & CARDINALS: The Red Sox are 10-11 all-time against the Cardinals, including 6-7 at home…The Sox have lost back-to-back games vs. STL after winning 6 of the previous 7 matchups dating back to the start of 2017. The Sox are also 14-10 against the Cardinals in Postseason play, having faced them in the World Series 4 times…STL won 7-game series in 1946 and 1967, while Boston won in 2004 (4-0) and 2013 (4-2).

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Red Sox are in a stretch in which 17 of 23 games from 5/5-6/1 are against NL teams, including the last 3 series (2-1 at PHI, 1-1 at ATL, 0-2 vs. STL). The Red Sox are an MLB-best 293-203 (.591) all time in Interleague play.

DON’T START WITH US: Starting pitchers have completed at least 6.0 innings in just 6 starts against the Red Sox this season, fewest of any team in MLB (Next: CHC-9, TB-9). Starters have lasted fewer than 4.0 innings in 12 starts vs. BOS this season, most in MLB…The Dodgers (8) are the only team with more than 7 such starts against them. Starting pitchers are 12-13 with a 5.98 ERA vs. BOS. Right-handed starting pitchers have a 5.99 ERA vs. BOS; left-handed starters have a 5.97 ERA.

SOX SPLITS: The Red Sox rank 2nd in MLB vs. RHP in AVG (.226), SLG (.470) and OPS (.809). The Sox are tied for 4th in the AL with 40 HR vs. RHP. Against LHP, the Sox rank 2nd in the AL in hits (115), XBH (45), and walks (tied, 49). 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 34 games (7.3 SO/game).

SOX SWINGS: The Red Sox have swung and missed at just 0.43 pitches per plate appearance, lowest in the AL and 4th-lowest in MLB (WSH-0.37, ARI-0.39, NYM-0.39).


2023 2-4 6.29 7 7 34.1 24 9 12 28 1.40 .259
CAREER 115-75 3.38 263 258 1621.0 608 169 359 1711 1.12 .238

Earned the win Saturday at PHI (5.0 IP, 3 R, 7 H, SO). Is 2-1 with a 5.52 ERA (9 ER/14.2 IP) in 3 career starts vs. STL. The Sox have won each of his last 3 starts (3.86 ERA, 7 ER/16.1 IP), after they lost each of his first 4 (8.50 ERA, 17 ER/18.0 IP). Has thrown 5.0+ innings in each of his last 4 starts, after doing so in only 1 of his first 3. In 34 Interleague outings (all starts), is 17-10 with a 3.06 ERA (71 ER/208.2 IP)… Among the 99 pitchers to throw 200.0+ Interleague innings, he ranks 9th in ERA. Owns a 3.63 ERA (301 ER/746.1 IP) in 125 career games (121 starts) following a team loss. 14 of his 28 strikeouts this season has been recorded with the curveball (12-for-50, 3 HR).

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