LA Dodgers at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, July 12, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Special to Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The second half of the regular season begins with a World Series rematch when the defending champion Boston Red Sox host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday in the opener of a three-game interleague series. While the Dodgers look very much like a team poised to make another run at the pennant, the Red Sox would be left out of the playoffs if the season ended now.
Boston won a major league-high 108 games in the 2018 regular season and breezed through the postseason, capped by a five-game win in the World Series, but is struggling to find any consistency in 2019 and enters the second half two games out of the second American League wild card spot. “We need to get better,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who spent the week managing the AL All-Star team, told reporters after watching his team close the first half with a four-game winning streak on Sunday. “We start (the second half) against the Dodgers right off the bat Friday. We need to do better than this.” The Dodgers (60-32) own the best record in baseball at the break and sit 13 1/2 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West but dropped three straight to finish out the first half and will spend the rest of the season trying to stay sharp without getting much of a challenge in the division. Los Angeles, which had three starting pitchers on the NL All-Star team on Tuesday, will turn to right-hander Kenta Maeda on Friday while Boston counters with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, Facebook-Watch, SportsNet Los Angeles, NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Kenta Maeda (7-5, 3.76 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (9-4, 4.65)
Maeda was not one of the three Los Angeles starters on the All-Star team – Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler – but enjoyed a solid first half and allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of his last 10 outings. The Japan native last worked against San Diego on Saturday and absorbed the loss while allowing three runs and four hits over 7 2/3 innings. Maeda appeared in three World Series games last fall and surrendered a total of one run and four hits across three innings.
Rodriguez struggled to find any consistency in the first half, allowing two or fewer runs nine times but yielding four or more in the other nine outings. The 26-year-old Venezuela native yielded one run over five innings at Detroit on Friday, walking one and scattering four hits before being lifted after 76 pitches. Rodriguez worked in three games in the 2018 World Series, including a start in Game 4 in which he was charged with four runs over 5 2/3 innings without factoring in the decision.
- The Red Sox released RHP Tyler Thornburg (0-0, 7.71 ERA, 16 outings).
- The Dodgers on Wednesday activated SS Corey Seager (hamstring) from the 10-day injured list and optioned OF Matt Beaty to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
- Los Angeles LHP Clayton Kershaw absorbed the loss in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 5, Red Sox 3