Here Are Red Sox-Rays Pitching Matchups For First Two Games Of ALDS

The Red Sox will play two games on the road to start

by abournenesn

Oct 6, 2021

The Red Sox are hitting the road to start the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston manager Alex Cora on Wednesday announced which pitchers will be tasked with starting things off on the right foot.

Cora said Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Thursday’s opening game, while “there’s a good chance” Chris Sale will start Game 2 on Friday, via Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.

Rodriguez largely was hit around by the Rays through four starts against them this season. He has a 4.71 ERA through 21 innings against Tampa Bay, with his most recent outings against them being the most uneven. On Sept. 7, he gave up eight hits and six runs, striking out three through 3 2/3 innings — days after what he called his “best start” of the year.

As for Sale, he has two starts against the Rays this season, and both tell a very different story. On Sept. 1, he lasted six innings with six hits, two earned runs and three strikeouts. Just five days later, he gave up 10 hits and one earned run (though five crossed the plate) in 3 2/3 innings.

The Rays have announced their starting pitchers for the first two games, as well. It’ll be a pair of rookies on the hill: Shane McClanahan, a lefthander, will get the ball for Game 1. Righty Shane Baz — the Rays’ top-ranked prospect — is slated to go in Game 2.

Boston handled McClanahan in two outings in September, most notably on Sept. 2 when they rocked him for eight hits and four runs through five innings. He was a bit steadier on Sept. 8, when he lasted five innings with three hits and three strikeouts.

They also faced him on Aug. 1, when he struck out seven and allowed one run through six innings.

The Red Sox have yet to face Baz, who made his major league debut on Sept. 20. He has a 2.03 ERA through 13 1/3 innings and is 2-0, with wins against the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins. He also pitched 2 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees on Saturday, striking out four.

The ALDS begins Thursday at 8:07 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Thomas Shea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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