After a tough series against the Yankees, the Red Sox return to Fenway Park to take on Sonny Gray and the 14-18 Oakland Athletics. Led by Bob Melvin, the A's currently sit at third in the American League West, but could spiral out of control in the next couple of series and turn into buyers at the Trade Deadline. Speaking of trades, Sonny Gray, who has been linked to the Red Sox since the offseason, takes the hill for the Athletics in the first game of this series. According to reports, the Red Sox called Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics the day after the MLB season ended about acquiring Sonny Gray, but Beane was not interested in trading the young right hander. Because Gray does not become a free agent until 2020, who could blame Beane?
The 26-year-old is currently 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 35.1 innings. While Gray has not been sharp to start the season, he is one of the better pitchers in all of baseball and could mow down this lineup if he gets hot. With the offensive struggles for Oakland (bottom third of MLB with 3.65 runs per game), Gray needs to be close to perfect in order to get a victory on the road.
On the flip side, the Red Sox send streaky Clay Buchholz to the hill. On the season, Buchholz is 1-3 with a 5.71 ERA, but is hoping to build off of a great start five days ago. While Buchholz has struggled all season, he went seven strong innings against the AL Central-leading White Sox, allowing only two earned runs and three hits. Against a struggling Gray, this stout Red Sox lineup could look to pounce and get the lead early in this game.
Keys To The Game:
For The Red Sox:
For The Athletics