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Know Your Enemy: Boston Red Sox

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It’s a Pink Sox showdown!

MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

What happens when you throw a red sock in with white laundry? You turn your laundry pink!

Unless you use one of those color guard sheets, but I’m not sure if they actually work or if it’s advertising magic.

Also, let’s check in with Senior Mascot Correspondent Addy for her thoughts on whatever their mascot is:

Last time

The White Sox haven’t faced off against the Red Sox since April, and that was a split series. The White Sox took the doubleheader, while the Red Sox took the first and final games of the series. Game 1 saw the debut of the first round of City Connect jerseys, inspired by the Boston Marathon colors. Xander Bogaerts and Kike Hernandez came out on top in that game, each having a double and three singles. Bogaerts alone drove in the two runs that carried Boston to their win.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Tim Anderson homered off the first pitch of the day and Dallas Keuchel went five innings of a solid start (one of few solid starts he’s had all season) that led to a White Sox win. It was notable that the game lasted two hours and four minutes, so a pretty quick one. The second game of the doubleheader had a home run by Yermín Mercedes, two hits from Nick Madrigal that drove in two runs, and Matt Foster got five outs in scoreless relief while Liam Hendriks got the final three.

The final game of the series was a painful one, with the Red Sox topping the White Sox, 11-4 (oof). Hernandez had a weird home run and Bobby Dalbec took a 14-pitch walk, all in the first inning. Lucas Giolito didn’t make it past the second inning after allowing eight runs (seven earned) and eight hits. Mercedes and Danny Mendick ended up pitching, it was so bad.

How’s it going

Kyle Schwarber is on the Red Sox now, having been traded by the Nationals for a minor-league pitcher — which is something I definitely forgot about until I was looking at the Red Sox depth chart.

The Red Sox offense is on fire with a .775 OPS (third in MLB), but on the road there’s a drop to .723 OPS. They have also hit 293 doubles this season, which is definitely a contributing factor to the high OPS (water is wet). Bogaerts is posting a .867 OPS, with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs and five stolen bases in six attempts.

In their last 20 games Boston is 11-9, with a 36-33 road record. Against the Central they’re 19-11. If you’ve made it this far, it will not surprise you that Bogaerts leads in batting average and OBP (.298 and .366) while Rafael Devers leads in home runs (33) and J.D. Martinez leads in hits (146). A pretty dominant offense.

Unfortunately for them, it looks like a LOT of the Red Sox have COVID so we might be seeing most of the WooSox this weekend.

ESPN
ESPN

Considering how the White Sox did these last couple of series, that’s not a bad thing for the White Sox. Chicago is 10-10 in its last 20 games, but 46-24 at home, so maybe a series at the Rate is just what this team needs to right the ship. They’re 17-13 against East teams, so things may go their way again.

Pitching Matchups

Today is TBD vs. Tanner Houck. Houck has gone 0-3 this season over 49 23 innings with a 3.26 ERA. In his last seven starts he’s 0-1 over 31 23 innings with a 3.69 ERA. Houck is 0-1 in his lone appearance against the White Sox (back in April) and lasted 4 13 while giving up seven hits, three earned runs, and one home run. He relies on four pitches: the 4-seam fastball, slider, sinker, and split finger. He’s doing a bit better post All-Star break (2.97, vs. 4.35 pre). Despite not having a win, he’s managed to rack up strikeouts this season (62) so the White Sox will need to jump on him early.

Saturday will be Dylan Cease vs. TBD. Cease is 11-7 and is quietly having the best season of his career, posting a 3.87 ERA and 197 strikeouts over 148 23 innings and going 4-1 in his last seven starts. The only time he’s faced the Red Sox in his career was back in April, where he posted a ND. If the offense would stop squandering his quality starts then the White Sox would be in good shape.

Sunday everyone is facing off against a pitching machine because with Chris Sale being diagnosed with COVID-19 and the White Sox not having announced a pitcher yet, that’s how things are looking.

Bullpen days for everybody!

Why we hate them