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Red Sox vs. Astros: John Lackey takes the mound as Sox head west

John Lackey is on the mound for the Red Sox as they head to Houston to take on the Astros.

Jared Wickerham

The Red Sox will have John Lackey on the mound Monday night as they start a three-game stint in Houston against the cellar-dwelling Astros.

Boston Red Sox (68-45)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Mike Napoli, 1B
  6. Jonny Gomes, LF
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Stephen Drew, SS
  9. Brandon Snyder, 3B
Starting Pitcher -- John Lackey

Houston Astros (36-74)

  1. Robbie Grossman, LF
  2. Brandon Barnes, CF
  3. Jose Altuve, 2B
  4. Jason Castro, C
  5. Chris Carter, DH
  6. Brett Wallace, 1B
  7. Matt Dominguez, 3B
  8. L.J. Hoes, RF
  9. Jonathan Villar, SS

Starting Pitcher -- Brett Oberholtzer

It's certainly nice to be heading to Houston without any extra fear of pitcher injury due to the lack of the DH. Welcome to the correct league, Astros. It's also nice to be heading into Houston given the sort of performance that can be expected out of the Astros this year.

But if there's one thing that can put a bit of fear into visiting Minute Maid Park for the Red Sox, it's the type of pitcher they'll be facing: fresh from the minors, left handed, and if he hits the 90s, he doesn't often get too high into them. Yes, it's probably mostly superstition. No, Oberholtzer isn't entirely a soft-tosser. And, no, he doesn't seem to have even been particularly good in the minors. But I'll be damned if it's not going to be a while before that particular bugbear goes completely away.

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