Preview: Red Sox, Rangers two of a kind

April, 20, 2010
4/20/10
9:41
AM ET


ESPN baseball analysts Karl Ravech and John Kruk preview the upcoming series between the Red Sox (4-9) and Rangers (5-7), who are both scuffling (see video above). Texas is coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees and Boston was just swept by Tampa Bay at Fenway.

“If Boston is going to get right this might be the team to do it against,” Kruk said.

The Rangers have actually had more problems on offense than the Red Sox, scoring a total of 46 runs this season, which ranks 27th in all of baseball. Boston ranks one spot ahead at 26th (50 runs scored).

Both teams carry struggling sluggers into this week’s matchup: David Ortiz (.158 average, 2 RBIs) for Boston, Josh Hamilton (.220 average, 2 RBIs) and Chris Davis (.222 average, 1 RBI). The Rangers offense is led by the surprising Nelson Cruz, who has an American League leading seven homers and 15 RBIs.

Rangers pitching has actually been better than expected so far. Texas has a 3.41 team ERA, which is the fifth best in baseball. The Red Sox are 21st with a 4.58 team ERA.

When you look at starters’ ERA the difference is even greater. Believe it or not, Texas starting pitchers -- besides Rich Harden, can you name another Rangers starter? -- have a 3.04 ERA (fourth best in baseball) while the vaunted Boston rotation has a 5.18 ERA (26th).

Here is a look at this week’s pitching matchups:

-- Tuesday (7:10 p.m.)
Tim Wakefield (0-1, 5.11 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis (2-0. 2.19 ERA)

-- Wednesday (7:10 p.m.)
Josh Beckett (1-0, 3.86) vs. Matt Harrison (0-1, 1.38)

-- Thursday (7:10 p.m.)
Clay Buchholz (1-1, 1.80) vs. C.J. Wilson (0-1, 2.08)

For more information on the Red Sox's struggles, check out ESPNBoston.com reporter Gordon Edes' Q-and-A with ESPNDallas.com.

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