The four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers will dictate whether or not the Boston Red Sox will be buyers or sellers at the MLB Trade Deadline.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Boston Red Sox
Friday, July 29, 2022 – 07:10 PM EDT at Fenway Park
What to Expect on Friday
Although the Red Sox have been struggling throughout the last couple of months, Boston is still in the hunt for the playoffs, along with so many other American League teams.
Tonight, they’ll welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to town for a four-game series. Milwaukee is currently 55-44 and fighting the Cardinals for the NL Central division.
If Boston can get high, they likely won’t sell by the trade deadline. However, if Boston struggles to beat the Brewers, things might start to get blown up on August 2.
The Pitching Matchup
The Red Sox will pitch rookie righty-hander Bryan Bello, who is 0-2 with a 10.50 ERA on the season.
Bello might not be ready for the major leagues just yet. He currently has a 5.22 xFIP in the last 30 days with 14.1% of strikeouts and 12.5% of walks allowed.
The young rookie has earned 58.7% of ground balls in the last 30 days, which has been great, but other than that, he’s struggled.
On the other hand, Brandon Woodruff will get the call. Ever since he came back from his Injured List stint, he’s been holding it down. Woodruff has had a 3,94 xFIP in the last 30 days with 29.6% of strikeouts. He’s also limited power on both sides of the plate.
He’s been worse against lefties, allowing more walks and fewer ground balls, but overall, his wOBA on both sides of the plate is still above-average in the last 30 days.
The Red Sox have struggled against righties in the last 30 days. They’re hitting a .139 ISO and wOBA of .274 with their projected lineup in the last 30 days against righties.
On top of that, the Red Sox lineup has struck out 26.7% of the time and has walked just 6.6% of the time against righties in those 30 days. Even worse, Boston has hit under 20% of line drives against righties in that time frame.
Only Bobby Dalbec and Jackie Bradley Jr. have hit a high ISO against righties in the last 30 days for the Red Sox, yet, those two batters are hitting in the bottom of the order.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee has shown off power against righties in the last 30 days against righties, hitting a .231 ISO and a wOBA of .347 in that time frame. The Brewers have still struck out over 20% of the time against righties with their projected lineup but have also worked out over 10% of walks.
Unlike the Red Sox, the Brewers only have two players hitting a below-average ISO against righties in those last 30 days. Milwaukee has so much more potential with their lineup here.
Bryan Bello is probably not ready for this type of workload in the MLB. He’s handled it well but currently has a 10.50 ERA with an xFIP that continues to rise game after game. Bello has struck out just 14.1% of batters in the last 30 days and he was supposed to be an elite strikeout thrower when coming into the major leagues.
Instead, he’s walked 12.5% of batters while allowing 23.9% of line drives in the last 30 days. Yes, his BABIP is high at .478. That will drop, but he’s still giving up plenty of power to righties with a .208 ISO in his last 29 plate appearances facing righties.
The Brewers have plenty of right-handers in their lineup that can do damage, including Willy Adames, Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Renfroe, and Luis Urias.
Plus, lefties like Christian Yelich, Rowdy Tellez, and Kolten Wong have stepped up offensively with power against righties. The Brewers are one of the best power-hitting teams in baseball and could ultimately explode against Bello, especially with runners on base.
Plus, with Brandon Woodruff on the mound, the Brewers won’t need to score that much. Woodruff has been incredible as of late and should earn a high amount of strikeouts against the Red Sox.
The Brewers are already heavy favorites sitting at -165. Instead of taking that, I’ll ride with the Brewers at -0.5 in the first five innings. That’s my MLB Play of the Day. I’ll trust this Brewers offense to score while Woodruff deals.
Final Score Prediction: Brewers 6, Red Sox 2
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