I hope the Red Sox have taken advantage of their All-Star break and enjoyed some much deserved rest and relaxation because they're going to hit the ground running tonight. The second half of the season kicks off with a bang with a three game series at Fenway Park against the fourth place (but still dangerous) New York Yankees. This will be the first trip to Boston for the Yanks this season. And it won't get much easier after that with the Rays and Orioles up next.
The Red Sox currently have a six game lead over New York, but like the Yankees, kind of skidded into the break—both teams were 5-5 in their last 10 games. And in the six games these two teams played earlier in the season, the Sox have have a slight leg up having won four of them. While the Sox are second in the major leagues in team batting average with a .277, (the Yankees are 24th of 30 total teams), NY does have better overall pitching numbers so it could be a pretty even match up.
This series is important for both teams. The Sox will host the recently hot Tampa Bay Rays for four games next week and they don't need to go into the series still struggling. Especially because they head to Baltimore after that for three with the hard-hitting Orioles. And the Yanks certainly don't want to fall even further out of first place, so we could have a real battle this weekend!
Here's how the series looks for the pitching matchups:
Friday, July 19th @ 7:10pm
Felix Doubront (6-3, 3.91) vs. Andy Pettitte (7-6, 4.39)
Saturday, July 20th @ 4:05pm
John Lackey (7-6, 2.78) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (8-6, 2.65)
Sunday, July 21st @ 8:05pm
Jon Lester (8-6, 4.58) vs. CC Sabathia (9-8, 4.07)
I don't have any predictions for this series, just hopes. I hope that John Lackey continues his domination on the mound. I hope that Jon Lester pulls his head out of his ass and pitches like we know he can. And I hope the offense picks up where it left off before the All-Star break because that's fun!
I also hope this heat breaks soon or I might melt before this game even starts.