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Red Sox vs. Astros: Ryan Dempster takes the mound in need of a turnaround

Ryan Dempster is on the mound in need of a turnaround performance against the Astros.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Ryan Dempster took the mound for the Red Sox, Boston enjoyed one of their best wins of the year. But it came in spite of Dempster's seven earned runs, not because of it. Now, with a possible series loss against the Astros on the line, he'll need to finally turn this ship around or put the Red Sox at risk.

Boston Red Sox (69-46)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Mike Carp, 1B
  6. Jonny Gomes, LF
  7. Stephen Drew, SS
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Brock Holt, 3B

Starting Pitcher -- Ryan Dempster

Houston Astros (37-75)

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

Starting Pitcher -- Jarred Cosart

So Ryan Dempster needs to get it together. But we're familiar with his struggles, so let's talk Cosart. He was a top-50 prospect just last year. He has a 0.96 ERA through his first four starts. This may all sound like a top arm doing what was expected of them. Except that Cosart has a .214 BABIP with a terrible defense behind him. He walks more batters than he strikes out. His strand rate is through the roof. None of this at all screams "sustainable."

And now he's got a Red Sox lineup to face--the best in the league--that disproportionately punishes fastball throwers like Cosart. Now it's possible that Cosart is going to take this opportunity to really break out and pitch as well as some thought he could one year ago. But if he's been faking it, there's every possibility that this is the test he won't pass.

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