Boston Red Sox (92-66) @
New York Yankees (82-76)
Henry Owens (0-1, 7.79 ERA) @ C.C. Sabathia (8-12, 4.02)
2016 AL East Champions: Boston Red Sox
There is still a lot to go before we can really get an idea about the 2016, but we do know that the Boston Red Sox are the 2016 AL East Champions, thanks to their division rival, the Baltimore Orioles, taking care of business. Despite the champagne popping last night, there’s still a good amount of work to be done to try and secure as many home games as they can throughout the playoffs. They currently sit two games back from the Texas Rangers for clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With only four games left, it will be quit the task to try and uproot the Rangers.
Pedroia, Ramirez, Betts Sit
Even though the Sox still have a fighting chance for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, and Mookie Betts will all sit tonight. With the Sox losing two straight and facing a lefty tonight, it is interesting that these are the three that manager John Farrell chose to sit tonight. Lefties David Ortiz, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Travis Shaw all are in the lineup tonight.
The Pitching Matchup
Henry Owens comes into this game with a 0-1 record and a 7.79 ERA. He’s looked really bad in his short stint in the majors this year. His last start came over a month ago when he surrendered eight runs over to the Detroit Tigers.
Owens is making a spot start for the club, so I really don’t think they expect much out of him. I’ll be surprised if he does find his way onto the postseason roster, but that could have a lot to do the the health of Drew Pomeranz.
Opposing Owens is fellow lefty C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia hasn’t had a terrible year as he holds a 4.02 ERA. After his 5.28 and 4.73 ERA’s over the past two years, the fact that Sabathia has been serviceable again has to be a pleasant surprise.
Sabathia has faced Boston twice this year and has given up eight earned runs over 10 ⅓ innings. With the lineup the way it is tonight, Sabathia could have a chance to put up good numbers against this Sox team that is missing a good portion of their offense.
1-Aaron Hill-R 3B
2-Andrew Benintendi-L LF
3-Xander Bogaerts-R SS
4-David Ortiz-L DH
5-Chris Young-R RF
6-Jackie Bradley-L CF
7-Ryan Hanigan-R C
8-Travis Shaw.-L 1B
9-Deven Marrero-R 2B
1-Brett Gardner-L LF
2-Jacoby Ellsbury-L CF
3-Gary Sanchez-R DH
4-Starlin Castro-R 2B
5-Didi Gregorius-L SS
6-Chase Headley-S 3B
7-Brian McCann-L C
8-Aaron Hicks-S RF
9-Tyler Austin-R 1B
Clearly, the big news is Betts, Pedroia, and Ramirez taking the night off. This lineup is really scrambled with Andrew Benintendi hitting second behind Aaron Hill. The Red Sox will throw out four lefty bats against C.C. Sabathia. Lefty smasher in Chris Young will bat fifth to hopefully give them some additional pop with all the aforementioned guys skipping this contest.
Travis Shaw will bat eighth, mainly because it’s a lefty-lefty situation. Deven Marrero will also see the start at second base and bat ninth.
As for the Yankees, it’s a pretty standard top-five in their order. Even against a lefty in Henry Owens, the Yankees will still lead off with Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. It is interesting to see Brian McCann in this one,considering his struggles against lefties.
RED SOX LINKS
Drew Pomeranz status update (MLBTradeRumors)