Minnesota Twins: What to watch for vs. the Boston Red Sox
By Chris Schad
With the Red Sox not dealing with the opener trend sweeping Major League Baseball, we actually know who will be on the mound for all three games of this series. With that are a couple of big names while others look to be on the rebound.
Monday: Rick Porcello (4-6, 4.69 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (8-2, 3.01 ERA)
The Twins will throw their ace Jose Berrios on the mound to open the series and while his overall numbers look good, we might not have seen the dominant pitcher he can be this season. A lot of that could be recency bias as he gave up nine runs in a 10 1/3 inning stretch in May and his last start was a high-wire act before settling down and allowing just a Dan Vogelbach home run in the 9-6 loss to the Mariners on June 12.
Meanwhile, Porcello has been steadily improving since allowing 16 total runs (11 earned) in his first two starts of the season. His last time out, Porcello allowed just two runs on five hits against a potent Texas Rangers lineup that ranks just behind the Twins in runs per game this season. As someone who relies on the sinker ball, Porcello will have to keep the ball low to keep the Twins in the yard.
Tuesday: David Price (4-2, 3.52 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (4-3, 5.04 ERA)
Michael Pineda has been a high-wire act of his own this season, but is starting to round back into form after his last start against the Mariners on May 17. While he allowed just one run to Seattle in 5 2/3 innings, the more encouraging development has been increased velocity on his fastball and, according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic (subscription required), a slider that continues to get better with each start.
For the Red Sox, David Price got shelled last time out against the Rangers allowing six runs in 1 2/3 innings. While Price should be well rested, it’s presumable that he should be a better version of himself against the Twins. In the previous six starts, Price had allowed a 1.80 ERA while going 3-0 on the mound.
Wednesday: Rodriguez (7-4, 4.67 ERA) vs. Gibson (7-3, 3.70 ERA)
Gibson put together his best start of the season in Friday’s win over Kansas City, throwing eight shutout innings to pave the way for Garver’s dramatic home run. Normally known for his tendency to nibble at hitters once getting them down 0-2, Gibson has been more aggressive lately, racking up 26 strikeouts in his last 25 innings. A 2.16 ERA has also paired nicely during that stretch.
Rodriguez has been all over the place this year, but as with many Red Sox, it appears he’s starting to find some consistency on the mound. In his last start, the left-hander threw seven innings of one-run ball against the Orioles on June 14 and has a 3-1 record and 2.96 ERA in his past four starts.