The Boston Red Sox look to put the past two days in the past, and come back with a positive response after two losses to the Yankees at home. The offense has been hiding in a shell, and it was no different last night.
Chris Sale did his part, but the offense was absolutely ineffective against Tanaka. They couldn’t find a single run in a 3-0 defeat. I expect the Red Sox offense to come out of their coma eventually, but right now it’s been pretty ugly for a team who is used to piling up big numbers.
No matter how you put it, part of the offensive decline is due to the retirement of David Ortiz. There is a massive hole there in the clean-up spot for the Red Sox with no Ortiz.
Yeah, the Red Sox are going to find a way to produce runs this season, once they get going, but not at a level comparable to what Ortiz could bring to the equation. Even in his retirement, you can see how dominant of a player he was by looking at the current Red Sox offense.
The Red Sox have no time to rest, as they follow-up their brief series against the Yankees, with a weekend series against the defending World Series Champion, Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had themselves a year, capturing a championship for the first time since 1908. They put together a force, as they got production from everywhere in their lineup and pitching staff.
The Cubs have started out with a record of 12-9, in what feels like more of a victory tour for them. Is there not one Cub fan out there who still isn’t celebrating their World Series’ win? The Cubs have a free pass for the next few years because of their championship.
Nevertheless, they should still be a contender during that time. This is probably the most intriguing matchup of the weekend, with two historic ball clubs going toe-to-toe at the historic Fenway Park. Get our Cubs vs. Red Sox pick here for free at The Sports Geek.
Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox Pick
Jake Arrieta (3-0, 3.65 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 4.60 ERA)
The Cubs have gotten off to a relatively slow start, but I think that can be chalked up to the “hangover” from their World Series. This team will be right there at the end of the season giving their all. Jake Arrieta will take to the hump at Fenway, who’s been a big part of the Cubs’ resurgence.
He spearheaded this pitching staff back in 2014 out of the blue. After a dreadful four years in Baltimore, Arrieta came to the Cubs in 2013, where he posted an ERA of 3.66. The following two seasons is when the rest of the league started to take note, though. He yielded a 2.53 ERA and then a Cy Young winning performance in 2015, with a 1.77 ERA.
His ERA slipped to 3.10 last season, but still a strong season, and one of the reasons why the Cubs won a World Series. Arrieta has been adequate in 2017 with an ERA of 3.65, but would like to bring that number up some as the season progresses. Note that the offense has backed him up pretty well, as he holds a 3-0 record going into this weekend. The Cubs have given him 28 runs in his four starts.
The Red Sox will go with the lefty Drew Pomeranz tonight at home. There are some guys, where their numbers will change drastically from here to the end of the season. With Pomeranz, yeah, I could see him finishing with an ERA in the ballpark of where he is now.
Pomeranz posted a 4.59 ERA with the Red Sox last season, so I can’t say it’s the most daring prediction. He’s been roughed up at home, posting a 5.23 ERA at Fenway. However, my pick here is based more so on the lifeless Red Sox offense. Like I said, they’ll get it going. But I find it hard to lay money on them in this funk against a team like the Cubs. With 0 runs last night, they’ve averaged just 2 runs per game in their last five games. I like the Cubs here for our MLB pick on Friday night in this interleague showcase game.
PICK: CUBS (-120)