BOSTON RED SOX
at HOUSTON ASTROS
First pitch: Sunday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: N/A, Total: N/A
The Astros will be hoping to pick up a big victory over the Red Sox on Sunday Night Baseball.
The Red Sox and Astros will be playing the last of a three-game set on Sunday, and you can expect that both teams will want to come out and earn a victory in this one. These are two of the best teams in the American League, and a win on Sunday night would make a statement. This game is going to be nationally televised, and all of these players know that. The starters in this Sunday night meeting are going to be LHP David Price (1-1, 5.09 ERA, 21 K) for Boston and RHP Joe Musgrove (4-5, 4.81 ERA, 45 K) for Houston. Both guys are supposed to be top of the rotation starters, but they are each struggling mightily this season. They do, however, have excuses for that. Price has been battling injuries, and rust could be the reason he hasnít gotten it going yet. Musgrove, meanwhile, is still extremely young. He has not yet figured out how to use his stuff, but the Astros are hoping that changes shortly.
David Price has been a bit inconsistent since coming back this season, but he has looked very good in two of his past three starts. In one of those games, Price allowed just one earned run in seven innings against the Orioles on Jun. 13. And then in his most recent start, Price allowed only three earned runs in six innings of work against the Phillies on Jun. 13. Sandwiched in between both of those starts was, however, a very poor outing against the Yankees. Price gave up six earned runs on eight hits in five innings of work in that one. Heíll need to avoid that type of performance in this one. Offensively, one guy to keep an eye on in this game is 1B Mitch Moreland. Moreland might not be the most dangerous hitter on this team, but he does have success against Musgrove. In the very limited history of this matchup, Moreland is 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI against the righty. Boston would certainly welcome some production from him in this one. The Sox will also be hoping that guys like OF Mookie Betts and SS Xander Bogaerts perform like their usual selves.
If the Astros are going to go where they want to at the end of the year then Joe Musgrove needs to start pitching better. Musgrove is extremely talented, but he has some very poor outings on occasion. Fortunately for Houston, he has been a bit better lately. Over his past two starts, Musgrove has allowed just two earned runs in 11.2 innings of work. He has struck out eight batters in those games, and he walked only one. That is going to be crucial moving forward, as his walks have plagued him at times. On offense, two guys to watch out for in this game are DH Carlos Beltran and C Brian McCann. The two of them are a combined 19-for-59 with two doubles, three homers, and 11 RBI against the lefty. The two veterans should be able to spark their team here, and the other youngsters in the lineup can obviously follow suit.