A Sonny Outlook in Boston

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Twins vs. Red Sox, 7:10 ET

Sometimes you have to hold your hand up and say, “Man, I suck right now.” That’s kind of where my head is at currently because this past stretch of about a week has seen me drop too many close ones. I won’t say this should’ve been a win, but, for example, I took the Dodgers to win through five innings. They were tied. It just seems like anything close is going against me, but I still have confidence in what I’m putting out, including this one.

The Twins are sitting pretty at the top of the division right now with a solid 10-6 start. After a somewhat confusing offseason, it was important for them to start the season strong. They were able to do that to this point and one of the big reasons is their pitching staff. These Twins have put out a 2.60 team ERA. They have one of the lower batting averages against them and they also have allowed some of the fewest walks on the season. Sonny Gray is a big reason for this early-season success. Gray has been a very good pitcher for most of his career. In fact, if you erase those years with the Yankees, when he seemed to hate life, he’d have one of the better active careers out there. (He still does have one of the better active careers, but he got so much negative press from New York that it influenced a lot of opinions about him.) He couldn’t ask for a much better start to the season. He’s turned in 17 innings and has only allowed one earned run. He’s gotten the best of most Boston hitters in the 27 times he has faced them.

Sometimes you can look at a team and think: this is probably what they will be the whole season. I’ve said that about the Athletics and I’m saying it about the Red Sox. Boston is probably going to be around .500 most of the season. At best they finish with 85 wins or something, at worst, probably 75. I know it is a wide range, but I really believe this to be the case. They don’t have much consistency that gives me reason for encouragement. Their pitching hasn’t been good, and their hitting is inconsistent at best. They turn to Chris Sale for the series opener and maybe five years ago that would’ve scared everyone. He was a strikeout machine and one of the best pitchers in baseball. Injuries ruined him a bit, but he is off to a very bad start. He has averaged four innings and allowed 15 earned runs already. Somehow, Boston is 2-1 in his starts even though he has allowed five home runs and 18 hits in the 12 innings. Twins hitters don’t have much success against him.

I think we have to fade Sale until he proves that we can’t fade him anymore. I’ll take Sonny Gray through five innings at -115. The way he is pitching gives me much more confidence in him than the Red Sox pitching staff.

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Written by David Troy

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