After dropping 3-of-4 games against the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox find themselves with a 5-8 record, which puts them in the cellar of the American League East standings. However, the Red Sox should not consider themselves inept at any point, as there are still 149 games left in the 2014 regular season. With a series against the Chicago White Sox set to begin on Tuesday evening, the Red Sox should band together and find ways to resurge against a struggling White Sox team.
Although the White Sox possess a 7-6 record, they have gone 5-5 in their last ten games. The offense has been able to carry the team through the early portion of the season, as they are second in the MLB with a .284 team batting average and a league-high .356 on base percentage. Alexei Ramirez leads the team with a .420 batting average, while rookie Jose Abreu has hit four home runs and has driven in 14 runs. If the Red Sox are able to slow down a surging White Sox lineup, then a stronger Red Sox pitching staff could easily dismantle a struggling White Sox rotation (the White Sox staff enters Tuesday’s game with a 5.66 ERA).
Experience is another factor that will help the Red Sox as they face the White Sox for the first time this season. Getting the ball for the Red Sox on Tuesday is Jake Peavy. Peavy played parts of four seasons with the White Sox before being traded to the Red Sox in July 2013. In his lone start against his former team in 2013, Peavy held the White Sox to just two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in seven innings of work, securing a win after the Red Sox trounced the White Sox, 7-2 on Augh. 31. Essentially, if Peavy can continue pitching well on Tuesday, the Red Sox will have a legitimate shot at slowing down a surging White Sox offense.
In addition to a young pitching staff and a lack of experience on all fronts, the White Sox are a victim of many runs as a result of their poor handling of runners in scoring position. Opponents have hit .336 against the White Sox with RISP, scoring 63 runs in the process. With a poor output with RISP during the 2014 season, the Red Sox can capitalize at US Cellular Park during this series, with the possibility of driving in large sums of runs throughout the series.
If the Red Sox want to get on the right track during the 2014 season, they need to defeat the White Sox by capitalizing on experience and hitting with runners in scoring position. After starting the season with a 5-8 record, the Red Sox will have to strike early and often in order for them the right the ship in the early going of the 2014 season.