Guardians at Red Sox Preview Game 27 | 4:10 PM. EST. 4/29

April 29, 2023

Andy Billman

1 Victory Down, 2 to Go

On Saturday, the Cleveland Guardians (12-13, 2nd AL Central) will face the Boston Red Sox (13-13, 5th AL East) at Fenway Park in the second game of their three-game series. Zach Plesac will be the starting pitcher for the Guardians, and this season he has a record of 1-1, an ERA of 6.50, and 13 strikeouts. In his career, he has a record of 1-1, an ERA of 4.43, and 13 strikeouts against the Red Sox.

Over the last three games, the Boston Red Sox have scored 12 runs, and in eight out of their last ten games, they scored four or more runs. When scoring four or more runs, the Red Sox’s record this season is 12-7. The team’s top hitter is Alex Verdugo, with 32 hits and 13 RBI, and Justin Turner and Rafael Devers have combined for 51 hits and 33 RBI. Brayan Bello will be the starting pitcher for the Red Sox, and this season he has a record of 0-1, an ERA of 9.82, and 8 strikeouts. This will be Bello’s first career game against the Guardians.

Despite the struggles of the Guardians to score runs this season so far, they have a capable offense that appears to be coming out of their winter sleep, and the game is being played in a small park, which could lead to high-scoring fireworks today.

3 Things for Game 2 Against Boston Red Sox 

1 – Streaking at two in a row. 

The Guardians finally get back-to-back wins for the first time in two weeks (April 14th and 15th against the Nationals).  Also, the Guards get a win in game one of a series since the win on the 14th in DC.  Yes, it is only April, but the Guardians need to start creating good habits.  

2 – Guardians need to keep taking advantage of the poor starting pitching in Boston. 

Bryan Bello and his ERA over nine will take the bump tomorrow for the Red Sox.  The Guardians should fair well in this right-handed match-up.

3 – Will Brennan is making his case for the right field job, putting Gonzalez on the bench.

Oscar Gonzalez brought so much joy to us as Cleveland fans last year with his call-up in late May; he brought energy along with timely big hits.  That and his playfulness in playing the SpongeBob theme song as a walkup made him a household favorite in 2022.  Sadly, this is a new season, and Brennan looks more confident as the starting right fielder. Brennan already has several big hits and needs to be playing every day. As for Gonzalez, this is not unusual for a second-year major leaguer to struggle, and he will get chances and opportunities down the road.  Not giving up on Gonzalez; he will be back. 

Guardians

GUARDIANS PROBABLE PITCHER – Zach Plesac

  • Plesac makes the start for the Guardians, his fifth of the season. He is 1-1 with a 6.50 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 18 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his last appearance on Sunday against the Miami Marlins, the righty tossed five innings, giving up three earned runs while surrendering 10 hits.
  • The 28-year-old has an ERA of 6.50, with 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings in four games this season; opponents are batting .354 against him.
  • Plesac enters the outing with one quality start under his belt this season.
  • Plesac is looking for his fourth straight appearance lasting five or more innings. He averages 4.5 frames per start.

GUARDIANS HITTING TRENDS

  • The Guardians have hit 15 home runs this season, the second-lowest total in MLB play.
  • So far this year, Cleveland’s .353 slugging percentage is the fourth-lowest percentage in the majors.
  • The Guardians have the 22nd-ranked batting average in the league (.231).
  • Cleveland scores the 24th-most runs in baseball (100 total, 3.8 per game).
  • The Guardians rank 20th in the majors with an on-base percentage of .313.

Boston

RED SOX PROBABLE PITCHER – Brayan Bello

  • Bello (0-1) pitches for the Red Sox to make his third start of the season.
  • His most recent time out was on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers, when the right-hander tossed 4 2/3 innings, surrendering three earned runs while allowing five hits.
  • In two appearances this season, he has a 9.82 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings, while opponents are hitting .406 against him.

RED SOX HITTING TRENDS

  • The Red Sox’s 34 home runs rank seventh in Major League Baseball.
  • Hitters for Boston have a combined .427 slugging percentage this season, which ranks ninth in MLB.
  • The Red Sox’s .251 batting average ranks 12th in the league this season.
  • Boston has scored the third-most runs in the majors this season with 148.
  • The Red Sox have the 12th-best on-base percentage in MLB this season (.328).
  • Boston is one of the most-disciplined teams at the plate this season, ranking 10th with an average of 7.9 strikeouts per game.

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