The Milwaukee Brewers have not played at Fenway Park since 2014, when they swept three straight from the Boston Red Sox. They return to Beantown eight years later a first-place team looking to stay hot. As this intriguing three-game set begins Friday night, it’s a good time to analyze this Brewers vs Red Sox series preview, complete with injuries and storylines.
Opening Game Information
- Game: Brewers (55-44) at Red Sox (50-50)
- Location: Fenway Park
- Television: BSWI, NESN
Brewers vs Red Sox Probable Starting Pitchers
- Friday: Brandon Woodruff (Brewers) vs. Brayan Bello (Red Sox)
- Saturday: Eric Lauer (Brewers) vs Nick Pivetta (Red Sox)
- Sunday: Aaron Ashby (Brewers) vs Josh Winckowski (Red Sox)
Brewers Seeking Third Straight Series Win
Since the MLB All-Star break, the Brewers have won five of six, including a pair vs Minnesota this week that ran Milwaukee’s interleague record to 9-3. That’s the best mark in baseball and one reason the Brewers own a three-game lead in the NL Central.
The club hit .280 with 12 homers while averaging seven runs per game during its 5-1 homestand out of the All-Star break, all after a hitters meeting that seemed to spark the lineup.
“It wasn’t, ‘Change our approach.’ It was just, ‘Let’s be a little bit better,’” manager Craig Counsell said of the meeting. “We’re not asking for big, drastic things from anybody in our approach, we’re just trying to do everything in every moment just a little bit better.”
Among the Milwaukee Brewers players who benefitted from the get-together was Rowdy Tellez, who smacked a pair of three-run homers in Wednesday’s 10-4 win over Minnesota at home. He admitted that the team was “tired” near the end of the first half, a segment of the schedule in which it played more road games than anyone else.
A day off Thursday should allow for a smooth transition back to the road for six games, three at Boston and three more at Pittsburgh. And it’s nice to have Brandon Woodruff on the mound to start things off Friday night. He is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts since coming off the injured list last month.
This Brewers vs Red Sox series preview has to make mention of the advantage Woodruff and a superior, rested bullpen has on Boston to begin the set.
Red Sox Mired in Last Place in AL East
A 4-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday allowed Boston to pull its record back to .500. It is 25-25 at home, 25-25 on the road, 6-6 in extra innings, and 5-5 against the NL. While there’s been incredible volatility along the way, this is just an average club approaching an uncertain trade deadline.
One player who will breathe a sigh of relief when the deadline passes is Xander Bogaerts, who homered in Thursday’s win hours after hearing that the team’s brass is not shopping the potential free-agent-to-be.
“It has been (tough)” dealing with trade rumors, Bogaerts told reporters. “But I mean, we’re professionals in the end. You sign up for this. You’ve got to deal with it.”
There were some recent ugly Boston Red Sox scores that helped to push the team to the AL East cellar and caused many to wonder if selling off some pieces like Bogaerts makes sense. But after a series split against Cleveland, Boston sits 3½ games out of a Wild Card spot and it should get several key bats back soon.
- Christian Yelich, Brewers LF: 9-for-27 with seven walks during a seven-game hitting streak.
- Luis Urias, Brewers IF: 4-for-6 with two home runs and two walks in the Minnesota series.
- Bobby Dalbec, Red Sox 1B/3B: 3-for-6 with two home runs and six RBIs in his last two games.
- Bogaerts: 7-for-18 during a five-game hitting streak.
- Willy Adames, Brewers SS: 1-for-12 with four strikeouts over his last three games.
- Victor Caratini, Brewers C: 1-for-13 over his last six games.
- Jarren Duran, Red Sox CF: Hitting .177 with 30 strikeouts in July.
- J.D. Martinez, Red Sox DH: Hitless in 15 at-bats over his last five games.
- Brewers SP Adrian Houser could be sent out for rehab starts soon as he recovers from a right flexor strain.
- Brewers IF/OF Jace Peterson remains sidelined with an elbow injury.
- Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers is on track to come off the IL when eligible on August 2. He’s out with a hamstring injury.
- Red Sox SS Trevor Story is out with a wrist injury. There is no timetable for his return.
- Red Sox SP Rich Hill made a rehab start Wednesday at Double-A Portland and is expected to make his next start with Boston. He’s been out with a knee injury.
- Red Sox IF/OF Christian Arroyo (groin) is rehabbing in Portland and could return in August.
Brewers vs Red Sox Series Preview Betting Tips
The opener is all Milwaukee. Woodruff is rolling and he goes up against Brayan Bello, a well-regarded prospect who has been overmatched in the majors. The 23-year-old has given up 14 runs on 22 hits and eight walks in 12 innings overall.
Beyond that, keep an eye on any trades the teams make odds, as there could be some changes before this one wraps up Sunday afternoon. And watch the over/under, keeping in mind that the Brewers are raking and Boston’s staff, and its defense, has been abysmal of late.Follow us on Twitter