The Boston Red Sox open their 10-game road trip Monday night against the lowly Astros at Minute Maid Ballpark. The Red Sox continued their success this weekend by taking two of three from the second place Diamonbacks. The Red Sox dropped a close one 7-6 to open the series on Friday but were able to beat NL Cy Young candidate Patrick Corbin on Saturday in Jake Peavy's debut.
The Sox were unable to gain much ground on the Rays, who also continue to win, but they do own a one-game lead and have an easier schedule over the next couple of weeks. An interesting tidbit its that the Rays have an off day Monday so in theory the Red Sox can push their lead in the American League East to one and half games.
The last time the Red Sox visited Minute Maid Park, they swept a three-game series back in 2011. This will be only the third time the Sox will play in the Astros’ home stadium, with a 4-2 record in six games in Houston. The Sox hosted the Astros earlier this year, sweeping a four-game series.
This will be a new look Astros team once again as they traded their ace Bud Norris to American League East Foe the Baltimore Orioles. In addition to trading Bud Norris the Astros traded Justin Maxwell to the Royals and closer Jose Veras to the American League Central leading Detroit Tigers.
Series Prediction: The Red Sox sweep the Astros behind great pitching performances from Lackey, Wright and Dempster while the offense keeps rolling against the young pitching rotation of the Astros. For Red Sox fans the game to watch is Sunday as young hurler Jarred Cosart starts his fifth game in the majors against his toughest test yet. Cosart has pitched 28 innings in four starts while having a WHIP just over 1 at 1.07 for the season.
8/5 Brett Oberholtzer (1-0 3.77 ERA) vs. John Lackey (10-6 4.27 ERA) 8:10 pm
8/6 Jordan Lyles (4-5 4.91 ERA) Steven Wright (2-0 3.65 ERA) 8:10 pm
8/7 Jarred Cosart (1-0 0.96 ERA) Ryan Dempster (6-8 4.54 ERA) 8:10 pm
Ryan Dempster has a chance to get back on track after his dismal start at home against the Mariners this past Thursday. Dempster struggled with command as he issued five walks to go along with seven hits and seven earned runs across six innings. In my mind this is the perfect set up for him going forward as he faces an inexperienced lineup where the strikeout will most surely be expanded with his breaking pitches which bodes well for Boston.
Our own CLNS Red Sox Beat Editor Chris Hogan lets us know that with a win tonight the Red Sox will have matched their win total for all of last year. Let that sink in for a little bit and let me remind everyone that it's only August 5th. We have a lot to look forward to this season as the American League East race shakes out over the next two months.