With the season winding down, the defending champion Boston Red Sox are in town after a season of disappointment.
For the first time since 2016 the Red Sox are in San Diego and Manny Machado will face an old foe.
The San Diego Padres are the third team to play against Boston in three days, as they played Philadelphia on Wednesday and Kansas City on Thursday. The team flew from Boston to San Diego after finishing a previously suspended game.
The Red Sox won the World Series last year after winning 108 games in the regular season and ended with a Chris Sale strikeout of Machado, but 2019 is a different story. At this time last year, Boston was 90-39 with a 9.5 game lead over New York, but instead, they find themselves amid a World Series hangover with a record of 68-61 and 15 games back of the East-leading Yankees. The Padres are 34-33 against teams with a winning record and Boston fits that bill.
Boston doesn’t have a probable starter for Sunday’s game, but there are murmurs that it could be former Cy Young Award David Price making a return to the mound. Price was placed on the injured list with a wrist cyst on August 8 and hasn’t been himself since the All-Star break, posting an 0-3 record with 8.59 ERA. A sharp contrast to the David Price the Red Sox had seen earlier in the year when the American League All-Star went 7-2 holding a 3.24 ERA with command of all of his pitches.
Game 1: (Friday, August 23, 7:10 PM PDT)
Game 2: (Saturday, August 24, 7:10 PM PDT)
Game 3: (Sunday, August 25, 7:10 PM PDT)
TBD vs. Joey Lucchesi LHP (8-7, 4.20 ERA)
Players to Watch
Rafael Devers (3B):
27 HR/102 RBIs (Leader)/103 R
If Mike Trout didn’t exist, Rafael Devers would have a very strong case to be the Most Valuable Player. The 22-year old has posted a 5.3 (WAR) Wins Above Replacement season while being the only player in the American League to record 100 RBI and 100 runs (Cody Bellinger is the only National League player). Devers has crushed pitchers regardless of handedness, hitting above .300 against both. In an otherwise disappointing season for the defending champion Red Sox they can be sure of one thing, Rafael Devers has arrived.
Manuel Margot (OF):
10 HR 28 RBI 17 SB
Once the top prospect in Boston’s system and the piece he was dealt for is no longer with the Red Sox. Margot was dealt with the Padres for All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel along with Carlos Asuaje, Austin Allen, and Javy Guerra. This is the first time that Margot will face his old system since he was dealt to San Diego. That isn’t the only reason to watch Margot in this series as he is likely to get his shot against two left-handed starters (Rodriguez/Price). Margot has hurt left-handed pitching this year slashing .356/.460/.493/.953 over 73 at-bats in 2019.