Philadelphia Phillies versus Boston Red Sox (August 21)
In this interleague matchup, the NL East’s third-place Phillies take on the Boston Red Sox, third in the AL East. Drew Smyly is scheduled to start on the mound for the Phillies and Rick Porcello is set to pitch for the Red Sox.
Offensively, the Phillies have underperformed this season. With the hiring of Charlie Manuel as hitting coach, the team had a bit of a spark until last weekend.
Bryce Harper leads the team in home runs (26) and RBI (90).
Rhys Hoskins is mired in a terrible slump but is still second in home runs with 24. J.T. Realmuto has been hot at the plate and is hitting .280 with 19 home runs. Cesar Hernandez paces the team in average at .281.
As a team the Phillies have hit 158 home runs and average 4.8 runs per game.
The Red Sox have one of the top offenses in the league, hitting .277 with 198 home runs and 5.8 runs per game. J.D. Martinez lead the team in home runs with 28, while Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers had hit 27 and all three having a batting average over .300.
Mookie Betts has picked up the pace and now has 21 home runs for the season.
On the mound, Drew Smyly has struggled, posting a 2-6 record and 7.09 ERA. He’s allowed 14 earned runs and six home runs over his last three starts and 25 home runs in 80 innings this season. Hector Neris has been decent as the closer with 21 saves and an ERA of 3.31. Ranger Suarez has been a solid contributor with an ERA of 3.90 and Jose Alvarez has an ERA of 3.09 in 46 2/3 innings.
As a team the Phillies have allowed 4.9 runs per game.
Rick Porcello has also been prone to giving up the home run. He’s allowed 25 and given up 158 hits in 139 1/3 innings, contributing to a high ERA of 5.41. Matt Barnes and Colten Brewer have been used frequently with only moderate success, posting an ERA of 4.45. Closer by committee Brandon Workman and Ryan Brazier have 14 saves and allowed 32 runs in 97 1/3 innings.
As a unit the Red Sox have allowed 5.1 runs per game.
Both teams should be able to put runs on the board via the long ball. The game favors Boston because they are at home, have more overall firepower and face a pitcher allowing a home run every three innings. The Red Sox have also averaged 7.6 runs over the last five games. The Red Sox should prevail by an 8-5 score.