The Cleveland Guardians hit the road to face the Boston Red Sox on Friday with both teams hovering around .500 in a case where something has to give.
The Guardians are 12-13 due to an offense that is last in the league in home runs while the Res Sox are 13-13 behind a pitching staff that is 27th in the league in ERA but the lineup is fourth in runs per game.
Cleveland Guardians (-140, 9) vs. Boston Red Sox
It will be Guardians starter Shane Bieber looking to keep the Red Sox bats silent, who has seen his strikeout ls per nine innings rate dip to 6.5 after leading the league with 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings when he won the Cy Young Award in 2020.
Despite not getting as many strikeouts, Bieber has been effective thanks to good command with 1.8 walks per nine innings and a 2.93 ERA since the start of the 2022 season.
Bieber also has the backup of a Guardians bullpen that has a 2.56 ERA since the 2022 All-Star Break, the best bullpen ERA in the league with no other team posting better than a 2.91 ERA in that span.
The Red Sox counter with Nick Pivetta, who has hurt by the deep ball this season, surrendering four home runs in his four starts across 19.2 innings, sending his ERA to 4.58 despite registering 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
Going against a Guardians team that has hit just 13 home runs in 25 games and is averaging 3.8 runs per game, which ranks 23rd among MLB teams, should help Pivetta’s cause.
With the Red Sox bullpen showing improvement, ranking 14th with a 3.51 ERA after logging a 4.59 ERA in the bullpen last season, which was 26th in MLB last season, runs will be In limited supply in Boston on Friday.
The Play: Guardians vs. Red Sox Under 9