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Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, 11-6
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Among the best games to watch this weekend is when the Boston Red Sox goes on the road to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies (15-17) are looking to revitalize themselves after starting the month of May with three tough losses, all at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox ended a tough month of April by finishing one game above.500%. Boston kicked the month of May with three huge wins in a three-game home series over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Phillies have been able to account for hits and account for runs well without the impact of their star batter outfielder Bryce Harper through the first month of the season due to an injured elbow. Philadelphia ranks seventh in the NL in runs accounted for (137), first in hits accounted for (294), sixth in home runs accounted for (35), 12th in walks (85), 13th in strikeouts (292), second in batting average (.266) and seventh in on-base percentage (.323). They are a team that aims high at the plate but ends up costing themselves in short innings from time to time.
Rightfielder has been the saving grace for the Phillies this season by accounting for a team-high in runs (24), hits (38), and double-base hits (11) as well as accounting for a batting average of .326, an on-base percentage of .366 and 20 RBIs. Centerfielder Brandon Marsh and shortstop Trae Turner have also been highly efficient at the plate this season. All three of these players, along with designated hitter Kyle Schwarber, have struck out 33 times or more.
The good news for the Phillies is that Harper is back, but they are keeping him limited while is preparing for a full recovery. In the two games played for the Phillies, Harper has accounted for two runs, three hits, one double-base hit, two walks, three strikeouts, a batting average of .429, and an on-base percentage of .556 in nine plate appearances. If he continues to play well while recovering, the Phillies are going to be difficult to contain.
The biggest downfall of the Phillies is their pitching and fielding, which is last in the NL in ERA (5.13). This is a surprising aspect since the bullpen can create strikeouts by ranking first in the NL in strikeouts accounted for (294).
The Red Sox enter with a loaded batting team led by rightfielder Alex Verdugo, third baseman Rafael Devers and rookie leftfielder Masatake Yoshida. Verdugo and Yoshida have accounted for over 20 runs, a batting average of over .300, and an on-base percentage of over .380. Devers is an efficient power hitter as he leads the team with 10 home runs accounted for.
As a team, the Red Sox's batting team ranks third in the AL in runs accounted for (184), second in hits accounted for (297), second in home runs accounted for (44), third in walks accounted (110), second in batting average (.270) and second in on-base percentage (.342). The only major categories Boston is not ranked in the top half of the AL are triple-base hits, stolen bases, and strikeouts (third most in the AL – 244).
Much like the Phillies, the Red Sox are not a good pitching team through 32 games this season. The Red Sox's bullpen has a season ERA of 4.93 as they rank in the bottom five of the major pitching categories.
The over/under for the first game of the series is set at eight runs, that is the expectation of the series. Any of these games could lead to more than eight runs, even from one team with the talent of both teams at the plate and the lack of productivity at the mound.
The Red Sox are going to be the favorites going into the series as their best batters are consistently finding ways to get on base and create big hits. Verdugo, Devers, and Yoshida are players that can create a solid streak and get runs at the flip of the switch.
The Phillies, while producing at a high level, were without Harper for most of the season. Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, Brandon Marsh, and Trea Turner are players that can meet the challenge of a set of high-scoring games for the Phillies.
Phillies' Bailey Falter (5.01 ERA in 32.1 innings pitched) and Red Sox's Corey Kluber (6.44 ERA in 29.1 innings pitched) are set to be the starting pitchers for Saturday's game. In Sunday's game, Philadelphia is set to start Taijuan Walker (6.91 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched) while Boston starts ace pitcher Tanner Houck (5.34 ERA in 32 innings pitched). This series this weekend could be split due to the different starting pitchers.
|Boston Red Sox||Head-to-Head||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Brian O’Halloran||Managers||David Brombrowski|
|Jarren Duran (.400)||Batting Avg||Brandon Marsh (.326)|
|Rafael Devers (10)||Home Runs||Kyle Schwarber (7)|
|Rafael Devers (27)||RBIs||Alec Bohm (23)|
|Jarren Duran (.444)||OBP||Brandon Marsh (.413)|
|Alex Verdugo (41)||Hits||Bryson Scott (41)|
|Tanner Houck (3)||Wins||Zack Wheeler (3)|
|John Winckowski (1.61)||ERA||Andrew Vasquez (1.93)|
|Chris Sale (35)||Strikeouts||Zack Wheeler (41)|
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What - Boston Red Sox vs Philadelphia Phillies
Where - Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When - Saturday, May 6, 7:05 PM & Sunday, May 7, 1:35 PM
How to Watch - FOX, MLB Network, MLB TV, MLB Extra Innings
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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