Red Sox - White Sox -Steven Wright / Jose Quintana
After sweeping three games from the last-place Yankees, the Red Sox (15-10, a win pace of 97.2) are in Chicago for three games against the AL Central-leading White Sox (18-8, best record in the AL). Boston then will head to the Bronx for another weekend series with the MFY.
One key to Chicago's success is their 2.65 team ERA. (By contrast, Boston's ERA is 4.26.) The Red Sox will miss Chris Sale (1.66 ERA) and Mat Latos (1.84) in this series, but tonight's starter, Jose Quintana, has been even more stingy (1.47). The White Sox are scoring an average of only 3.9 runs/game, 8th in the AL and 19th among MLB's 30 teams.
Rob Bradford, WEEI:
Take one look at Hanley Ramirez dancing in front of his locker Sunday night after the Red Sox' three-game sweep of the Yankees, or various players mouthing musical lyrics and bebopping around while preparing their bags for Chicago, and it isn't hard to understand the vibe on this team right now.
The trepidation that lingered throughout spring training, and into the first few weeks of the regular season, has started to dissolve. This is a group that clearly feels good about things.
Said third baseman Travis Shaw: "I get it, it's still early. But first place is first place. If it were May 1st and we were in last, everybody would be freaking out. No matter the day, it's good to look up in the standings and seeing your name on top." ...
"Something pretty special is happening with this team right now," Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo said. "We believe we can win any game at any time."