The Boston Red Sox (44-43) will have their work cut out for them against Nathan Eovaldi at Fenway Park on Thursday when the impressive right-hander takes the mound for the Texas Rangers (51-36) with the three-game series knotted at 1-1.
The Red Sox evened up the series 1-1 after winning 4-2 on Wednesday. Brayan Bello got the win, giving up two runs on eight hits over seven innings, and Kenley Jansen earned his 18th save with a scoreless ninth.
Masataka Yoshida went 2 for 4 with a double and one run in the win. Corey Seager was 3 for 4 with a double and one run for the Rangers, stretching his on-base streak to 24 games. Adolis Garcia added a home run and two RBIs.
ON THE MOUND
Eovaldi (10-3, 2.64 ERA) is set to start for Texas. The RHP is tied for second in the AL in wins and fifth in ERA. Eovaldi threw seven scoreless innings in his last start, a 5-2 road win over the Astros on Saturday.
He got the win, yielding two hits while striking out five and walking four. For Boston, righty Kutter Crawford (3-4, 3.92 ERA) will toe the rubber. It’s his first appearance of the season against the Rangers.
Crawford made one appearance against the Rangers in 2022, throwing two innings in a 7-1 road win on May 13. He gave up one hit and walked one while striking out one.
In his last start on Saturday, Crawford got the win on the road against the Blue Jays. He threw 5.2 innings and gave up two runs on three hits, striking out five and walking two in the 7-6 triumph.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Texas has averaged 5.4 runs a game, a small drop compared to their season average of 5.9. Against righties like Crawford this season, the Rangers have a .787 OPS, second highest in the league.
Garcia is the team’s biggest slugger against right-handers with a .520 slugging percentage in 190 at-bats. Boston is averaging only 4.6 runs per game in the last five, down slightly from 4.8 for the season.
The Sox have a .754 OPS against right-handers in 2023. With a .889 OPS over 188 at-bats, Jarren Duran has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Texas is 24-18 on the road in 2023, scoring 5.5 runs per game while allowing 3.7 runs. Boston has gone 22-22 at their home ballpark this season, averaging 5.4 runs per game while surrendering 5.1. Boston is 8-2 in the last 10 games at Fenway Park between the teams with an average scoreline of 5.6-4.2.
The Rangers lead the AL West by two games over the Astros. The Red Sox are fifth in the AL East, 12 games behind the Rays.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Texas Rangers (-140)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.