It’s been a very tough season for Boston fans. We spent some time both backing and fading Boston – usually unsuccessfully – at the start of the season. But tonight’s opener with the Mariners looks like it could resemble some value. Plus I need a reason to watch the hometown team a time or two while it’s still possible. Joe Kelly gets back on the mound for the Sox.
Is the only reason I still have some confidence left in Joe Kelly because I just haven’t seen the man pitch yet this year? Very possibly. But knowing the way he can throw still has me feeling he should pitch pretty well most of the time he takes the ball, especially against below-average offensive lineups. As far as the Boston rotation goes, Kelly has just blended in with the crowd this season, posting a career-worst ERA and WHIP. He’s had his fair share of quality outings this year but the tendency to get lit up here and there has really hurt his overall numbers and confidence. That said, Kelly did throw pretty well in his last time out, striking out seven in five innings of work. And he has won two straight starts. With a chance to continue that streak against the Mariners, Kelly may just be awaiting one his his best games in quite a while.
Mike Montgomery hasn’t gone very deep into many of his starts this year but his numbers certainly look a whole lot better than Kelly’s. He’s started 14 times at the big league level and has allowed three runs or less in 11 of those outings. Many of his best starts came at the start of his call-up, when he tossed a pair of complete game shutouts, which fell in the middle of a longer run where he allowed just nine runs in a span of seven consecutive starts. Montgomery has faded ever so slightly since then but he’s still allowed only six runs in his last three starts. He probably won’t go deep into the game but he’ll likely do the same against a Red Sox lineup that continues to play without a few key pieces.
Free Pick: Under 5.5 (first 5 innings) -115
YTD: 15-13-4 -1.04
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02