Game 37, Mariners at Red Sox
Vargas vs Lester, 4:05 pm.
It’s raining in Boston, as it is in much of the country today, so this game may or may not happen.
As for Jason Vargas, he gets a good test tonight against a pretty good line-up and a left field fence that is not that far from the plate. I like Vargas as a solid back-end starter, but don’t get too carried away with his early season numbers. Despite the increase in strikeouts, his contact rate is actually up over last year, and his strike percentage is down slightly, so odds are pretty good that the increase in strikeouts is just random variation and he’ll get back to something closer to his usual strikeout rate as the season goes on. As usual, he’s displaying some pretty significant home/road splits, as Safeco is the perfect spot for his skillset, but Fenway is a bit less suited to lefty fly ball guys, so this isn’t a great match-up for him. If the weather affects his command at all, this could go poorly.
In terms of the line-up, Smoak’s back up to the 5th spot in the order thanks to his offensive exploits in New York. Let’s hope he keeps showing signs of life. Ackley’s DH’ing again with Seager sliding over to second base and Liddi playing third, but don’t read too much into this, as the team is in the midst of a stretch of 20 straight games played, so you’ll likely see all the regulars get a turn through the DH spot over the next couple of weeks.