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The Texas Rangers have lost a good portion of games since they last played in AL West with a record of 42-78 so far this season. They send young people Dane Dunning to pitch, and he comes from an undefeated streak against Oakland Athletics, where he allowed two runs on four hits with two innings and four strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
The Boston Red Sox have fought so late as they are now in third place in AL East with a record of 69-54. They send southpaw Chris Sale to the mound that struck for the first time since Aug. 13, 2019, and he comes from a win over the Baltimore Orioles where he went five innings as he allowed two runs on six hits without walks and eight strikeouts.
I thought everything was bigger in Texas?
The Texas Rangers have been brutally cold offensively this season as they last played baseball with a .657 OPS. Throughout the month of August, the Rangers offensive has been non-existent as in 16 games, they have scored a total of 46 runs (2.88 runs per game), which is three less than Baltimore has in that span. Texas have beaten this season and are looking to the future as they are not ready to compete and are a few years away as of now. Center fielder Adolis Garcia leads Rangers as he has a .762 OPS with 26 home runs and 70 RBIs while stealing eight bases in 12 attempts. If Texas can figure out hitting a decent clip, they can continue to take steps in the right direction to be competitive.
Dane Dunning has struggled a bit this season, according to his Baseball Savant page, as he is in the 22nd percentile in hard hit percentage, the 29th percentile in xBA, the 33rd percentile in whiff percentage and the 42nd percentile in xERA. Dunning has an arsenal of six lanes (sinker, shooter, shift, cutter, curveball, fastball), and his sinker has been hit as it has a .269 stroke average and a .401 swallowing percentage. This will be his first career start against the Red Sox, so it’s going to be interesting as the Red Sox try to bounce back after falling out of the first AL Wild Card spot.
Jumping back in Beantown?
The Boston Red Sox have been one of the best offensive teams in the majors, as they are currently fourth with a .766 OPS. This team hits for extra bases as they lead MLB with 253 doubles, which is 28 more than the team in second place. Boston has beaten incredibly well at home this season as they have put a .276 / .342 / .465 slash with 5.56 runs per game. Home game. Third baseman Rafael Devers has spearheaded Boston’s bats as he has a .914 OPS with 29 home runs and 89 RBI. If the Red Sox can figure out how to overpower teams, they should be able to win games here.
Chris Sale is in his second start since 2019, so we’ll look at his career Statcast tracks listed on his Baseball Savant page. He has a career 6.0 barrel percentage, 87.1 MPH exit speed, 30.9 hard hit percentage and 5.2 walking percentage. Sale throws three different courses (fastball, change, shooter) and his shooter was good in his first start back as it went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. He once beat the Rangers in 2019 and did not take part in the decision as he went seven innings and allowed an undeserved run on three hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts. It will be interesting to see how he fights back after missing the whole of 2020.
- Boston: 12-4 in their last 16 home games against RHP
- Boston: 75-31 in their last 106 games against a team with a winning% below .400
- Texas: 20-51 in their last 71 games
- Texas: 9-42 in their last 51 road games