It's not hard to understand how the defending champions could be just 27-31, and rank 19th in the league with a paltry .246 batting average. Take a quick look at their injury report, and it all makes sense:
- Shane Victorino: 15-Day DL
- Mike Carp: 15-Day DL
- Clay Buchholz: 15-Day DL
- Mike Napoli: 15-Day DL
- Will Middlebrooks: 15-Day DL
- Dustin Pedroia: Day-To-Day
Hurting or not, Boston will have to find a way to get on base against one of the league's hottest pitchers tonight. Corey Kluber (6-3, 3.04 ERA) is tied for the Major League lead with 95 strikeouts on the year. So how exactly is the Indians' youngster getting it done? One word: command.
Kluber walks fewer than two batters per game. Additionally, 75.6% of his pitches are either straight fastballs or cut fastballs. He'll sprinkle a curve in here and there, but if the weakened Boston lineup wants to put some runs on the board, they'll have to jump on the fastball early in counts. When batters manage to put the ball in play against Kluber, they reach base a whopping 34.7% of the time. Easier said than done, but it may just be the recipe for success for Boston to steal a win against a hot team.
Be sure to get on your devices tonight for this exciting match-up. SnapCall coverage starts at 7:00 PM EST!