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Red Sox at Astros lineup: It’s Chris Sale vs. Gerrit Cole, aka the absolute good stuff

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It’s a dream pitching matchup in the Lone Star State... and Mookie Betts is missing it.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This should be a good one. Tonight, the Red Sox (39-18) square off against the Astros (36-22) in Houston (8:10 p.m., NESN, MLBN out-of-market), but the big story is the pitching matchup of Chris Sale (5-2, 2.76 ERA), coming off a bad start, vs. Gerrit Cole (5-1, 2.05 ERA), who doesn’t have them.

About tonight’s game: You are going to see some absolute ass-kickers at the top of their games tonight. Sale, no matter how he’s pitching, is still Sale, and Cole has found salvation for Houston, with his closest Cy Young competition coming from inside his own rotation, in Justin Verlander. He’ll be the latest opposing pitcher to avoid Mookie Betts, whose continued absence due to a side issue is... troubling. Dustin Pedroia’s out again to. There’s not much else to report, though. It’s all about the pitchers, who are G’s.

About last night’s game: Drew Pomeranz started, Betts and Pedroia did not and the Sox lost 4-2. Read Matt’s recap here.

Forecast: Heat. Because it’s going to be 95 degrees. Also: the fastballs.

Today’s reading: Evan Drellich fears the end of the knuckleballer in baseball. I believe there another will reveal oneself, but there’s always a danger they disappear from time to time.

A good tweet from yesterday:

LINEUPS

Game 58 at Astros

Lineup Spot Red Sox Astros
Lineup Spot Red Sox Astros
1 Andrew Benintendi, LF George Springer, RF
2 Xander Bogaerts, SS Alex Bregman, 3B
3 Mitch Moreland, 1B Jose Altuve, 2B
4 J.D. Martinez, RF Carlos Correa, SS
5 Rafael Devers, 3B Yuli Gurriel, 1B
6 Eduardo Núñez, DH Evan Gattis, DH
7 Brock Holt, 2B Max Stassi, C
8 Sandy León, C J.D. Davis, LF
9 Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Jake Marisnick, CF
SP Chris Sale, LHP Gerrit Cole, RHP