Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, May 17, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox took turns knocking each other off in the playoffs en route to a World Series title the last two seasons, and both teams look primed for deep runs again in 2019. The teams will meet for the first time this regular season when the Astros visit the Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series tonight.
Houston owns the best record in the majors at 29-15 and comes in hot with wins in eight straight after No. 9 hitter Jake Marisnick keyed a 5-1 win at Detroit on Wednesday with a pair of hits and two RBIs. “It’s a testament to how good this lineup is,” Marisnick told reporters. “I mean, it’s a dangerous lineup. It’s long. We make pitchers work all the way through.”
The Red Sox boast a similar attack and won for the 12th time in 15 games on Wednesday when rookie Michael Chavis – a rookie batting out of the No. 7 spot in the lineup – provided the walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning of a 6-5 triumph over the Colorado Rockies. Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole will try to hold Chavis and company in check while Boston’s Rick Porcello deals with Marisnick, George Springer, Alex Bregman and the rest of the stacked Houston lineup.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network; AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Gerrit Cole (4-4, 3.88 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (3-3, 5.15)
Cole struck out 12 over six innings against Texas on Saturday and was charged with one run and four hits to earn his third straight win. The UCLA product leads the majors with 86 strikeouts and fanned at least nine in each of his last four turns. Cole lost his lone start at Boston in the ALCS last fall, surrendering five runs – four earned – on six hits and a pair of walks in six innings while striking out five.
Porcello allowed four runs on five hits in the first inning against Seattle on Saturday but settled down and did not allow a hit the rest of the way while lasting 6 2/3 innings and earning the win. The former Cy Young Award winner went 0-3 with an 11.12 ERA in his first three starts but is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his last five outings. Porcello made two appearances – one start – in the ALCS against Houston last October and allowed a total of four runs and seven hits in five innings.
- Red Sox LHP David Price (elbow) is expected to come off the injured list next week, when the team visits Toronto.
- Bregman homered four times in the last four games, bringing his season total to 14.
- Boston DH J.D. Martinez homered four times in the last three games and scored at least one run in each of the last five contests.