The Red Sox and Orioles have identical, first-place records, 36-26, going into a three-game series at Fenway Park starting Tuesday night. In one sense, they are similar clubs – both relying on explosive lineups to carry rotations that have been lagging.
But the Red Sox are doing it a little differently than the O’s: Paced by emerging superstar Xander Bogaerts, the impressive Jackie Bradley Jr., and the ageless David Ortiz, the Red Sox are leading the world in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
They’ve scored more runs than anyone in baseball thanks in part to a mind-numbing number of doubles – 159 in 62 games. Boston has been out-homered by the Orioles, 99 to 77 heading into this series, but has scored 70 more runs.
Peter Abraham, The Boston Globe’s excellent Red Sox beatwriter, joins “Around The Beat” this week to give us his insights on the team he covers.
He goes in-depth on why he thinks Ortiz is sticking with his retirement plans no matter how productive the 40-year-old is in 2016. Abraham also explains the rise of knuckleballer Steven Wright and the demise of the back end of Boston’s rotation.
He believes the AL East race will come down to which general manager chooses the right addition for the stretch run – something he says is crucial for the Red Sox since they have a brutal schedule in September.
Abraham picked the Orioles to win the division to start the season, and he’s sticking with it, mainly because he is highly skeptical of Boston’s current rotation behind David Price, Wright and Rick Porcello.
Before Abraham and I ended our conversation, we also had to talk some Bruce Springsteen. Of all the Springsteen nuts I know, Abraham may be the nuttiest. You’ll be blown away by how many times he’s seen The Boss in concert.
Make sure to give this a listen.