After a ninth-inning comeback and an extra-inning explosion, Thursday afternoon (1:35pm Eastern; 6:35pm UK) in Boston, the AL West-leading Angels send two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani to the mound, in a bid to take two of three from the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
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Where to watch Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox on TV:
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- US: MLB Network
Los Angeles Angels team news
26 games into the 2022 regular season, and the Angels After the first 25 games, Los Angeles is first in the American League West, with a 1.5-game lead over the Houston Astros. It’s still extremely early in the season, but the strong start will have the Angels eyeing their first division title since 2014.
Wednesday night, on the heels of consecutive shoutout losses – the previous night in Boston, and on Monday in Chicago, against the White Sox – the Angels seemed destined for a third straight defeat, trailing 4-3 in the top of the ninth, after a home run by Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the previous half-inning.
However, walks to Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, followed by a single by first baseman Jared Walsh in tied the game. After quickly retiring the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth, the Angels bats woke up in a big way. First, right-fielder Taylor Ward hit a home run to make the score 6-4. Then, after a Trout single and another walk to Ohtani, third baseman Anthony Rendon singled, scoring Trout and making the score 7-4. Then, once again it was Walsh coming through, this time with a home run over the Green Monster in left field. That made the score 10-4. The Angels would win the game 10-5.
Thursday night, the Angels look to wrap up a seven-game road trip with a fourth win. They’ll be loving their chances with Ohtani on the mound. The reigning AL MVP continues to thrive as Major League Baseball’s first two-way star in over a century, with four home runs in the season’s opening weeks, and an outstanding fielding-independent 2.11 runs allowed per game.
Angels predicted batting order: Brandon Marsh, RF; Mike Trout, CF; Shohei Ohtani, DH; Anthony Rendon, 3B; Jared Walsh, 1B; Jose Rojas, LF; Max Stassi, C; Tyler Wade, 2B; Andrew Velazquez SS
Angels predicted starting pitcher: Shohei Ohtani (RHP; 2-2, 4.19 ERA, 2.11 FIP)
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Boston Red Sox team news
Entering play on Thursday night, the Red Sox (10-15) sit next to last in the brutally competitive AL East, already some eight games behind the first-place Yankees, and just a game up on the intentionally uncompetitive Baltimore Orioles.
Scheduled to start on the mound for the Red Sox is Rich Hill. Despite a respectable 3.71 earned run average (ERA), the 42-year-old has struggled to start the season, allowing nearly 1.3 baserunners per inning and a fielding-independent 4.57 runs allowed per game. He could be in for more tough sledding against Ohtani, three-time AL MVP Trout (who’s got a co-team-high 6 home runs), Rendon, Ward (also 6 HR) and Brandon Marsh.
Compounding the issues for hometown side is the fact that Boston’s lineup, despite featuring the like of Bogaerts, prized free agent signee Trevor Story, veteran slugger J.D. Martinez third baseman Rafael Devers and first baseman Bobby Dalbec, ranks in the bottom ten (in some cases bottom five) in MLB is just about every significant offensive category. One assumes that a lineup with this much talent will find its groove eventually. However, Thursday night against Ohtani is likely not that moment.
Red Sox predicted batting order: Trevor Story, 2B; Rafael Devers, 3B; Xander Bogaerts, SS; J.D. Martinez, DH; Enrique Hernández, CF; Alex Verdugo, LF; Christian Vázquez, C; Bobby Dalbec, 1B; Christian Arroyo, RF
Red Sox starting pitcher: Rich Hill (LHP; 0-1, 3.71 ERA, 4.57 FIP)