Though the standings 13 games into the Major League Baseball season hardly have any effect on the standings in September, the Boston Red Sox are going to be looking to pull themselves out of last place in the AL East when they face the White Sox in a three-game series in Chicago.
A sweep of the White Sox would put the Red Sox at .500, and would seriously increase their momentum. It’s doable for the talented Boston team, but it wouldn’t be easy. The White Sox have some key players who are going to do their best to spoil that possibility.
Chicago is 7-6, which puts them in second place in the AL Central. However, this match-up should really gauge how good they are, as they’ve had a relatively easy schedule for the first two weeks of April, while Boston has not.
Chicago was one of the worst hitting teams in the league last season based on FanGraphs statistics. They made some key additions in the offseason with guys like Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton, and Cuban phenom Jose Abreu, but the loss of Garcia for the rest of the season leaves a dent. However, Abreu has shown that he’s the real deal, and he could be a problem for Jake Peavy, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester, who get the starts in this series.
Still, the Red Sox haven’t really lost any of their number one offense from last season, and they’re not necessarily facing the strongest pitchers. Erik Johnson and John Danks start the first two games respectively. Johnson has been roughed up in his first two starts, and the White Sox still aren’t 100-percent sure that Danks is the guy he was before a shoulder injury two years ago. Boston will have to face Chris Sale though, who’s just as good as ever and is already boasting a 3-0 record.
Boston does have some intangibles on their side though. Jake Peavy is returning to US Cellular Field for the first time since he was traded last season. Also, the series starts on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, so the Red Sox are sure to have some extra motivation.