Anibal Sanchez (1-3, 6.48 ERA) vs. Chris Mazza (0-1, 6.35 ERA)
The Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox will get after it for the second time in this three-game series. The Nationals blasted the Red Sox yesterday in a 10-2 game. Max Scherzer was sharp with 6 hits and 1 earned run allowed in 6 innings.
The Nationals didn’t need 10 runs with Scherzer on the bump, but they went ahead and pounded the Red Sox to win by 8 runs. Martin Perez offered no resistance for the Red Sox. He was exploited for 8 hits and 6 earned runs through 4 innings of work. The Red Sox are obviously going nowhere with this starting rotation.
Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are required in the rotation for the Red Sox to have any chance. They are both on the IL, with Rodriguez getting sent to the shelf because of complications from a COVID-19 infection. Rodriguez suffered a heart condition and will hope to recover for next season.
Without Sale or Rodriguez, depth is thin in the Red Sox rotation. Nathan Eovaldi was acting as the interim No. 1 pitcher in Boston. However, now Eovaldi is injured as well. He reportedly has a calf injury, which isn’t serious, but enough to push his scheduled start back.
The trade deadline is approaching and the Red Sox are going to want to be careful with Eovaldi. There is some speculation that Eovaldi is going to be involved in a trade before the deadline on Monday. Losing his trade value because of pitching him while banged up in a rather meaningless game would be dumb.
30-year-old Chris Mazza, who recently made his first major league start, is expected to get the nod on Saturday for the Red Sox. The Red Sox have a makeshift rotation on their team at the moment. With a record of 10-22 and less than 30 games in the regular season, it’s all a bit irrelevant now, though. Veteran Anibal Sanchez, who is barely holding onto his career, will counter for the Nats. Head below for our free Washington Nationals vs. Boston Red Sox pick for August 29, 2020.
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Anibal Sanchez was a fine wine the last two years for the Atlanta Braves and National. Seemingly looking like his career was over after three disastrous years in Detroit with the Tigers, the aging veteran was able to turn things around and get his career going in the right direction.
As soon as he left the Tigers, Sanchez posted an ERA of 2.83 and 1.08 WHIP in 2018. He was able to parlay that into a new deal with the Nationals. And in the first season, everything was going swimmingly, as Sanchez notched an ERA of 3.85 and 1.27 WHIP across 30 starts.
Sanchez hasn’t found a groove so far this season. He’s going into Saturday with an ERA of 6.48 and 1.72 WHIP through five outings. It looks like the same guy who was throwing up lollipops as a Tiger from 2015 to 2017. Everybody thought his career was dead when he was in Detroit, so I’m not going to write him off too quickly, though.
That said, his head hasn’t seemed to be present in 2020, and his work on the road has been particularly bad. Sanchez goes into Fenway Park with a 9.39 ERA and 2.35 WHIP. Teams are hitting .361 against Sanchez in 7.2 innings on the road. The current Red Sox lineup has lit Sanchez up in the past as well.
They are hitting .414 with a .441 OBP and 8 runs scored in 55 at-bats. After the Nats put up 10 runs on the Red Sox last night, the Red Sox should be able to get their offense going at least. Chris Mazza doesn’t evoke much confidence in me, though. Mazza has an ERA of 6.35 and 2.12 WHIP through 5.2 innings.
His first taste of the majors last season didn’t go too well. Mazza was tagged for a 5.51 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in nine games as a reliever. He isn’t up in the majors because the Red Sox need him. It’s because their rotation is thin on talent. We should see some fireworks with Sanchez and Mazza on the hill Saturday night. A look at the OVER is probably worth it in this matchup.