Friday and Saturday’s contests between the Mariners and Red Sox seemed more like Patriots vs. Seahawks games as the two teams combined for 33 runs (Game 1: 14-10, Game 2: 7-2).
These teams have also accomplished this staggering amount of runs in just 18 innings. The Mariners, however, have momentum going into game 3 after a dominant 7-2 win on the road. Boston will look to rebound on Sunday during a matinee matchup between two of the American League’s best.
The M’s took over Fenway last night and started pounding in runs early. After taking a 7-0 leading going into the 7th inning, Seattle only let up 2 runs in the 9th en route to a comfortable victory over Boston. Seattle will look to stick with the high-scoring theme of this series and once again dominate the Sox with their bats.
Seattle’s best batter this past week has been Nelson R. Cruz. Cruz has 4 home runs this week and a team-leading 10 RBIs. The 37 year old also has an outstanding 1.000 slugging percentage in this time period. Cruz’s hot bat will be a key factor if the M’s want a series win over the Red Sox. This should be no concern for Scott Servais’ club as Cruz has a .333 batting average and 3 home runs in just 18 at bats vs. Boston this season.
Taking the mound for the M’s tomorrow will be LHP Marco Gonzales. Gonzales will be looking to recover after a poor performance vs. the New York Yankees his last time out. The southpaw gave up 6 runs in a 7-2 loss to New York last Tuesday. This performance vs. the Yankees was an anomaly, however, as the 26 year old is having a great season. In 15 games for the M’s this season, Gonzales has 7 wins and an ERA of 3.80.
Red Sox Outlook
After a spirited come-from-behind on Friday, the Red Sox cooled down in an embarassing 2-7 loss on Saturday. If Boston is to close out this series with a win, they should play the same way they did on Friday, and let Chris Sale do his thing on the mound.
Letting Chris Sale “do his thing” is easier said than done, however, as the lefty has not gotten the run support necessary to win games this year. The 6 time All Star has an incredible 2.74 ERA and a WAR of 3.6. The Red Sox offense simply just underperforms when Sale is on the mound however as the team is 8-8 in games where Sale starts. The Sox have an alarming run-support average of 4.76 when Sale is on the mound.
One Red Sox player who will have another wonderful game is J.D. Martinez. Martinez is earning the big contract he made this offseason as his production has been through the roof. The 30 year old right fielder has 23 homers in 2018, including 5 in the month of June. His hot month of June also includes a .343 batting average and a 4-5 game against the Mariners the other day.
This game will be a great pitching matchup and won’t have the same high-scoring intensity as the first two affairs.
Sunday’s afternoon contest will feature two hot lineups, but also a sneaky pitcher duel as well. Sale is always fantastic, but Marco Gonzales is putting up great numbers this year for the M’s. The 6 runs he gave up to the Yankees on Tuesday was equal to the amount of runs he gave up in his last 6 starts combined. The Sox are an unfamiliar opponent for Gonzales, however, as the lefty has never faced Boston.
The X-factor for the Sox in this game is 1st Baseman Mitch Moreland. Moreland has been very productive this week, boasting a .450 batting average and 4 RBIs in this time. Look for Moreland to add on to these totals vs. an unfamiliar opponent in Gonzales tomorrow.
For Seattle, you should expect a huge game out of an unexpected player, 3rd Baseman Kyle Seager. In day games for the Mariners in 2018, Seager has 8 home runs and 20 RBIs in 27 games. This is paired with Seager’s ability to hit on the road as well. In 37 road games, Seager has 10 homers and 32 RBIs. Look for Seager to do more of the same in Boston tomorrow.
This game will be a great pitching matchup and won’t have the same high-scoring intensity as the first two affairs. In the end, however, Chris Sale will finally get the run-support he needs and the Red Sox will defeat the Mariners 4-1.