The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels have been two of the hottest teams to start the season, but over the course of the first two games of this series, the Red Sox have shown they have been even hotter. On Thursday, the two teams will finish their 3-game series as Red Sox (15-2) travel to Angel Stadium to take on the Angels (13-5) with a first pitch scheduled for 10:07 pm ET. The Red Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez (1-0, 3.72 ERA) to the bump to take on the Angels’ Nick Topeano (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
The moneyline for the game is set at the Boston Red Sox +110 and the Los Angeles Angels at +100. The over/under on total runs scored is set at 8.5.
Red Sox Burning Angels With The Long Ball
Through the first two games of this series, the Boston Red Sox have been burning the Angels with the long ball. In Tuesday night’s matchup, the Red Sox hit 6 home runs, including three by star outfielder Mookie Betts. Betts finished the game 3 for 3 with 3 home runs, 3 runs batted in, 3 runs and two walks.
Also homering in that game was Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt and Rafael Devers. On Wednesday it was Devers again, this time hitting a grand slam in the third inning off of Angels starter, Tyler Skaggs. J.D. Martinez also added a solo home run in the game.
The Red Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez (1-0) to the hill for the series finale. In his last game against the Baltimore Orioles, Rodriguez went 6 innings, giving up 1 earned run on 5 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 8. While the offense has been rolling, the starting rotation for the Sox has been equally impressive.
Rodriguez, the 25-year old lefty, has always been seen as having a high ceiling, but a mixture of injuries and inconsistency has dropped his stock a little. Still at only 25, though, if he can stay healthy, he could be in store for a good season with the team he has behind him.
Angels Look To Get Back On Track
One of the biggest stories of the early season, and one of the biggest acquisitions of the offseason, has been that of two-way player Shohei Ohtani. Many were clamoring for the Ohtani-Red Sox matchup Tuesday night, but a blister on his right hand cut his start short (after the Red Sox had already gotten to him for 3 runs) and he did not play in the 2nd game of the series on Wednesday.
There is a chance that he could be slotted in at designated hitter for the Angels on Thursday, but that will likely be a decision made after evaluating his hand before the game. If he is able to play, that would be a big bat back in the lineup as he has started off the season batting .367/.424/.767 with 3 home runs and 11 runs batted in.
Other notables on the offensive side have been Mike Trout (.286, 6 home runs, 13 runs batted in), Justin Upton (.294, 4 home runs, 11 runs batted in), Luis Valbuena (3 home runs, 8 runs batted in) and Albert Pujols (3 home runs, 10 runs batted in). Pujols is also creeping up on history as he is just 10 hits away from 3,000.
Nick Tropeano gets the start for the Angels in this one. He is 1-0 in just a single game this season. Last Thursday he got the win over the Kansas City Royals pitching 6.2 innings, allowing no runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. Tropeano will face a significantly tougher lineup this time around in the Red Sox.
Red Sox Finish the Sweep
Both of these offenses come in at the top of the league in runs scored (Red Sox are first and Angels are second), but only one of the two teams have kept the runs coming in this series and I don’t think that changes much on Thursday. I think the Red Sox bats are just too hot and Nick Tropeano is not the answer to cool them down. I do think that the Angels get to Rodriguez a bit, but I think the Red Sox bats still prevail. Take the Red Sox -110.