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Game 97 Guardians at Red Sox Lineups: A .500 record is at stake

Someone throw this team a life raft

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Monday evening marks the start of a three-game set between the Cleveland Guardians (48-46, 2nd AL Central) and the Boston Red Sox (48-48, 4th AL East) at 7:10 P.M. ET on NESN. They are the closest two teams in the American League standings from the third wild card spot, with the Guardians two games out and the Red Sox three games out. In the first series back from the All-Star Break, the Guardians split a four-game set at the White Sox, winning the first two and losing the last two. The Red Sox were swept in a three-game series at home against Toronto, being outscored by an appalling 40-10 in the process.

Boston will send Nick Pivetta to the hill, entering the game at 8-7, with a 4.50 ERA, and 1.26 WHIP over 19 starts. After an outstanding 11-start stretch, Pivetta allowed 20 earned runs in 13 13 innings over his last three starts and will look to get back on track tonight. Cleveland will counter with Zach Plesac, 2-7 with a 4.02 ERA on the season in 17 starts. Plesac is striking out only 6.5 batters per nine and has an expected ERA of 5.62 on the season. He sits in the bottom 20 percentile in all of Baseball Savant’s hard hit metrics.

Plesac might be the perfect slump buster for this Red Sox squad but, unfortunately, injuries have made this lineup barely recognizable. Rafael Devers has hit the IL, and manager Alex Cora said pre-game that J.D. Martinez may be available to pinch hit, with Trevor Story close to swinging a bat, per Alex Speier.

Weather should be monitored in this one, with a 50% chance of thunderstorms in the first half of the game down to 30% in the later innings. Kevin Roth expects a “decent chance of a delay.”

Game 97: Guardians at Red Sox

Lineup spot Guardians Red Sox
Lineup spot Guardians Red Sox
1 Steven Kwan, LF Jarren Duran, CF
2 Amed Rosario, SS Rob Refsnyder, DH
3 Jose Ramires, 3B Alex Verdugo, LF
4 Josh Naylor, 1B Xander Bogaerts, SS
5 Franmil Reyes, DH Christian Vazquez, C
6 Andres Gimenez, 2B Franchy Cordero, 1B
7 Nolan Jones, RF Bobby Dalbec, 3B
8 Austin Hedges, C Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
9 Myles Straw, CF Yolmer Sanchez, 2B
SP Zach Plesac, RHP Nick Pivetta, RHP