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Game 144: Royals at Red Sox

Ace on the (not Rich) hill

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

As Muse said “our time is running out” as the Red Sox open the final weekend series at Fenway Park this year. There are, in fact, only 2 Fridays left in the 2022 season. Trevor Story, one of their hottest players since he returned from the IL at the end of August, is still out with a heel injury. Alex Cora was was hopeful he’d be in the lineup tonight, but in the battle of two struggling teams it doesn’t make the biggest difference.

The Red Sox will send their ace, Michael Wacha to face the Kansas City Royals tonight. At this point, he’s in full contract push mode. With a 2.96 ERA/3.62 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, 3.38 K/BB ration he’s been everything they expected and more. The righthander is 31 and won’t turn 32 until next July but with the pitching options on the market including Eovaldi, Wacha, and Hill - all currently Sox - as some of the better options taking a flyer on the back end of Wacha’s career could help give a second-year Brayan Bello some breathing room in 2023.

Xander Bogaerts has lost a little ground in the race for the batting title, trailing Luis Arraez .317 to .320. But that’s still minor with a couple weeks of games left. Go X-Man!

Royals starter Jonathan Heasley has put up a 5.51 ERA and 6.00 FIP in 17 starts this season. He strikes out less than a batter per nine innings but he’s only rarely past the fifth inning so looking at a K rate of 15.4% and walk rate of 10.5% makes you think the Sox can feast tonight. Other teams certainly have: the Detroit Tigers scored 7 in four innings last time out.

Game 144: Royals at Red Sox

Lineup spot Royals Red Sox
Lineup spot Royals Red Sox
1 MJ Melendez, DH Tommy Pham, LF
2 Bobby Witt Jr., SS Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Salvador Perez, C Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B Alex Verdugo, RF
5 Michael A. Taylor, CF J.D. Martinez, DH
6 Michael Massey, 2B Triston Casas, 1B
7 Nate Eaton, LF Christian Arroyo, 2B
8 Drew Waters, RF Kiké Hernández, CF
9 Nicky Lopez, 3B Kevin Plawecki, C
SP Jonathan Heasley, RHP Michael Wacha, RHP