The first place Cleveland Indians are coming to town for a four-game set with the Boston Red Sox. The highly-anticipated return of Cleveland manager Terry Francona to the team that he led to two World Series will steal the headlines. However, the return of Tito to Boston should only be a secondary story. This series features two very good ballclubs led by high-end pitching and stellar bullpens.
The pitching matchups are intriguing. Thursday’s game features one of the top young pitchers in MLB, Zach McCallister, going against veteran Ryan Dempster. The right-handed McCallister is one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since April 24. A Cleveland victory seems likely for this game.
The second game features the return of Justin Masterson to Boston. The former Red Sox prospect is killing it this year. His 7-2 record, 2.89 ERA, and 71 strikeouts make him the complete pitcher. He was the American League Player of the Week last week, as he won both of his starts and struck out 20 while adding to his scoreless inning streak of 19.
He’ll go against John Lackey, who has been refreshingly reliable this season. This is an intriguing matchup, but the advantage has to go to the Indians.
Saturday’s game should be an easy Red Sox victory. Boston throws out ace Jon Lester, while the Indians counter with Scott Kazmir. The former top prospect of the New York Mets started off strong in an attempt to rejuvenate his career in 2013. However, Kazmir has been dreadful as of late.
The series concludes on Sunday when Felix Doubront takes the mound against the Indians’ Corey Kluber. May has been a dreadful month for Kluber, as he has an ERA of over 7.00. Doubront had a solid outing in his last start, which means he’s due to get blown up again. Look for a high-scoring 10-8 Red Sox win in this one.
Two out of four against the top team from the AL Central would feel like a vacation to purgatory. It’s not so good, but it’s not so bad either.