Though the Dodgers haven’t been quite as dominant as some baseball pundits expected them to be, they've still been a dangerous team all season. They currently sit at 59-46, which puts them in the top wild card slot in the National League. Not only that, but they made a fantastic move at the trade deadline by sending Yasiel Puig to the minors while acquiring outfielder Josh Reddick and starting pitcher Rich Hill from the Athletics. Reddick has struggled this season, but he’s still significantly better than Puig at this point. Also, Hill has been one of the most underrated pitchers in the league this year, and he adds great depth to an already solid Dodgers rotation. Though Clayton Kershaw has been sidelined with injury for some time now, position players like Adrian Gonzalez, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner have provided great run support for the Dodgers’ other pitchers.
The Red Sox’s playoff standings right now is only a product of their division, and not any fault of their own. Boston has a 58-46 record, which is good enough for the top wild card slot in the American League. The only reason they aren’t winning the AL East is the fantastic play of the Blue Jays and the Orioles. Though their pitcher David Price hasn’t been quite himself this year, Steven Wright has stepped up in a big way and established himself as the team’s new ace. Not only that, but David Ortiz is arguably one of the league’s best hitters and he’s preparing to retire after this season! The Red Sox’s balanced offensive attack has put them into a great position for the postseason, and they figure to be one of the most potent teams come October. Nobody wants to face a lineup filled with big bats like Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Ortiz, and Dustin Pedrioa.
Though he hasn’t received much attention for it, Rich Hill has quietly been one of the best starting pitchers in the MLB this season. Now that he’s in the big market of Los Angeles, the spotlight on him is much brighter. Not only will this be his first start with his new team, but it’ll be his first start back from an injury he suffered to his pitching hand. Hill owns a 2.25 ERA to go along with a 9-3 record and 90 strikeouts. However, he was actually much more proficient on the road with Oakland, holding a 1.41 ERA and a 7-0 record this season. He hasn’t faced the Red Sox yet this year, but he does have a 3-0 record against other AL East opponents.
Steven Wright is another pitcher who hasn’t really received the credit he deserves for having such an amazing season of far. As of right now, he has a 3.20 ERA, 12-5 record, and 114 strikeouts. That’s incredible for a knuckleballer who couldn’t even crack the team’s rotation before this season. He’s won five of his last six starts, and four of his last five road outings. Even better, he’s been more efficient on the road, with a 2.37 ERA and a 5-4 record. His style of pitching should suit him well against this Dodgers offense because of his .208 average allowed against left-handed batters, much lower than his mark against righties.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Wright has all the right numbers for this matchup and Hill is with a new team right after recovering from an injury. You should take the Red Sox to win 8-3.