Tonight is a rematch of last Thursday's game. Loaiza had one bad inning as the Sox lost their biggest game of the year. Let's hope we don't have a repeat performance.
On paper, the Sox have a small edge in starting pitching in all three games.
Game 1 - Radke vs. Loaiza
Game 2 - Rogers vs. Garland
Game 3 - Lohse vs. Colon
Radke and and Lohse have been pitching well for the Twins lately, but I still like Loaiza and Colon in games 1 & 3. Rogers is certainly capable of good games, but with the way the Sox hit lefties, I also have to go with Garland in Game 2.
Offensively, I would have to say both teams are about even. They do different things well, but end up averaging about the same amount of runs per game.
Relief pitching definitely goes to the Twins. The Sox have improved in that area, but the Twins have been unhittable lately with Hawkins and Guardado in the late innings.
So what do the Sox need to do to win this series? Score early and hold the lead. The Sox have not been able to mount large combacks this year, and were unable to score more than 1 run when down in games 3 & 4 last week. Coming back aginst the Twins bullpen is even more difficult. So the starters will need to get the job done if the Sox want to see first place again.