This is some kind of pitching matchup tonight between the Athletics and Red Sox, if of course, it was happening two years ago. Sonny Gray and Clay Buchholz will knock heads tonight at Fenway Park. The sting of another awful performance from David Price over the weekend is alive and well. Price, again, got killed, this time against the New York Yankees on Saturday. I read somebody say he’s pitching poorly because of his new surroundings and due to the fact he is playing in such a historic city, on a storied franchise. Okay? That doesn’t acknowledge how much velocity has come off his ball.
Price was never a technical pitcher, he relied on heat. He’s not going to paint a picture on the mound, but he could throw it right past hitters. This season it hasn’t been seen. Price has been MIA, and the Blue Jays are looking like geniuses at the moment. I will be interested in seeing how he performs when the weather warms up. Some players actually will get going with the weather, hopefully for the Red Sox sake, the heat on his fastball will accompany the hot summer days in Boston. Tonight it’s Clay Buchholz time to try and shine, something he hasn’t been doing too much of either.
The Red Sox are coming off a Sunday night win over the Yankees, a nice bounce back performance after they got torched on Saturday. It was a satisfying 5-1 win, which saw Steven Wright pitch a complete game. Wright allowed only 3 hits and 1 walk. After the Yankees pushed Price around yesterday, Wright stepped up to soothe the sore from the day before.
The story of David Price is not going to go away, though. If Price and Buchholz continue to ail, the future will not be pretty for the Red Sox this season. You figure, with a record of 18-13 right now. If Price and Buchholz were pitching well, they might have 20 wins. Buchholz and the Red Sox have Sonny Gray on deck tonight, a guy he can sympathize with.
Oakland Athletics vs. Boston Red Sox
Sonny Gray (3-3, 4.84 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.71 ERA)
There have been a lot of aces in baseball getting beat up this season. It’s been pretty obvious. Sonny Gray hasn’t been as obvious as say David Price or Zack Greinke, but he isn’t off to his best of starts in 2016. Gray enters tonight with an ERA of just 4.84, as he’s regressed since his first two starts of the year. Gray has posted a 7.88 in his last three starts, including allowing 7 runs against the Seattle Mariners. He also threw for a 1.69 WHIP in those starts.
The Red Sox have been seeing the ball pretty well against right-handers. Very well I should say. Note that the Red Sox are hitting .293 against righties, compared to .220 against the left-handers. Gray pitches right handed. He has also gotten beat up on the road, with a 7.00 ERA with a 1.67 WHIP and .390 OBA. He should have problems against the Red Sox tonight. The Athletics have looked unimpressive lately, losing six of their last seven games. Their last game yesterday was a 11-3 drubbing by the Orioles. I like the Red Sox to take it.
PICK: RED SOX TO WIN -120