Boston Red Sox (9-10) at Chicago White Sox (10-10)
SP - Jon Lester (0-2, 6.00) v. Jake Peavy (3-0, 1.88)
1. Mike Aviles, SS
2. Ryan Sweeney, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Cody Ross, LF
9. Marlon Byrd, CF
1. Daniel Bard could be the best option as closer for the Red Sox but we won't be finding out if that's true anytime soon because right now, he's the best starting pitcher on the team.
Bard beat the White Sox last night, allowing just two earned runs over seven innings. Following Felix Doubront's strong outing on Thursday against the White Sox, the Red Sox currently are being carries by their fourth and fifth starters.
The marathon of the baseball season will most likely lead to tough days for both Bard and Doubront but right now they are clearly the two best starters for Bobby Valentine. Hopefully "aces" Jon Lester and Josh Beckett can replicate the early success of Bard and Doubront to give the Red Sox a strong rotation.
2. I did intentionally leave Clay Buchholz out of the discussion of Red Sox starters because it's obvious that his back is still bothering him or that he has developed a different injury. Buchholz is leaving the ball up in the strike zone too often and is paying the price for it (8.87 ERA, 1.93 WHIP, 6 home runs allowed in 22.1 innings).
Buchholz would be served well by taking at least a two-week trip to the disabled list and his spot could be filled by Aaron Cook (3-0, 1.33 ERA in Pawtucket) until he's ready to return.
3. For any Red Sox fans who made the trip to Chicago, make sure to make a late night stop at Weiner Circle tonight. You won't regret it.