The Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins will conclude a brief 2-game series in Miami Tuesday night. The Marlins will look for a split of the series after dropping Monday’s game 7-3. However, Boston enters the game as heavy -250 favorites to win in Miami.
The Red Sox have gotten off to the kind of start they were hoping to after being overshadowed by the Yankees all offseason. Boston is 4-1 on the season and has taken an early lead atop the AL East, although it’s important for the Red Sox to continue to take care of business against lesser teams like the Marlins.
The Marlins, meanwhile, are 2-3 early in the season. However, that’s better than most people would have predicted for them. Miami earned a split of a four-game series with the Cubs to begin the season and would love nothing more than to do the same against the Red Sox in order to get back to .500.
Boston Red Sox Seeking Fifth Win
The Red Sox will send ace Chris Sale to the mound for the second time this season. The lefty was impressive on opening day, tossing six shutout innings against the Rays while striking out nine. Sale allowed just one hit and needed just 92 pitches to complete six innings. A similar performance would not be a surprise against a rather inexperienced Marlins lineup.
Outside of Starlin Castro and Cameron Maybin, few hitters in Miami’s lineup have seen much of Sale. Castro is a mere 5 for 19 with eight strikeouts against him while Maybin is just 2 for 14 against the lefty. But if the Marlins are going to have success against Sale, it figures that those two would be involved. Another player to watch closely is rookie third baseman Brian Anderson, who is hitting .333 early in the season and hit his first career home run Monday night.
Miami Marlins Looking to Bounce Back
The Marlins will also send their ace to the hill in José Ureña. Unfortunately for the Marlins, Ureña did not give an ace-like performance on opening day. While facing a tough Cubs lineup, Ureña allowed five runs over four innings, hurting himself with four walks, although two of those were intentional. Ureña is coming off a breakout season, so he’s capable of pitching much better than he showed last week, and he’ll need to be going up against Boston’s lineup.
Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts have paced Boston’s lineup early in the season. It’ll be important for Ureña to keep them from doing too much damage, as a few of Boston’s other marquee players have struggled, most notably Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. Hanley Ramirez is another player to watch after hitting his first homer of the season on Monday. There’s also a chance the Red Sox will give J.D. Martinez a start in place of Benintendi or Bradley since they can’t use him in the DH role.
Bust Out the Mini Brooms
Ureña shouldn’t be quite as bad on Tuesday as he was in the season opener. But he still faces a difficult and deep Red Sox lineup, whereas the Marlins have few reliable offensive players outside of Castro and Anderson. Boston also has Sale on the mound against a relatively inexperienced lineup. Bet on the Red Sox -250 to win Tuesday’s game.