June 19, 2024

Two standout starting pitchers are set to go head-to-head on Friday night as the Boston Red Sox host the Chicago Cubs to kick off a three-game series.

Boston’s Kutter Crawford (1-0, 0.66 ERA) boasts the lowest qualifying ERA in the majors as he takes the mound against Chicago’s rookie left-hander Shota Imanaga (3-0, 0.84).

Kutter Crawford received a big fine following standoff with Matt Strahm

Crawford recently secured his first win and his second quality start of the season against Pittsburgh, allowing just one run over six innings despite facing seven hits and three walks. His impressive performance has earned him recognition, with his ERA now standing as the best by a Red Sox starter since Roger Clemens in 1991. Remarkably, Crawford has not surrendered a home run in his last 43 2/3 innings pitched.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora has witnessed significant improvement from Crawford since the pitcher’s debut in 2021, highlighting his transition from a reliever to a starter. Crawford’s skill was evident in his previous encounter with the Cubs, where he dominated with nine strikeouts over six innings of scoreless, one-hit ball.

Following a series loss in Cleveland, the Red Sox aim to improve their home record, currently standing at 3-7 this season. Cora emphasized the importance of performing well at Fenway Park, particularly against a formidable opponent like Imanaga.

Meanwhile, the Cubs arrive in Boston on the back of a successful series against Houston, securing their second sweep of the season. Rookie Pete Crow-Armstrong made a notable impact in his first start, breaking his hitless streak with a crucial two-run home run against Houston.

Imanaga, making his first appearance against the Red Sox, is determined to bounce back after a solid start against the Miami Marlins. Despite giving up three runs in six innings, he remains confident in his abilities and looks forward to the challenge ahead.

As the Red Sox and Cubs prepare to face off, both teams are eager to build on their recent successes and secure a victory in what promises to be an exciting matchup at Fenway Park.

Cubs' Craig Counsell explains why top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong will  start 2024 season at Triple-A - CBSSports.com


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