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The Red Sox are set to open a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics tonight in what will likely be a sparsely attended affair.
The Red Sox are set to open a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics tonight in what will likely be a sparsely attended affair.

After opening the season on the road against one of the most exciting young teams in baseball, the Red Sox are now set to face off against the sport’s most moribund.

Coming off a 50-112 season, the Oakland Athletics are in a dismal spot. The club has announced its intention to relocate to Las Vegas, and with a roster striped bare of talent there’s little reason for fans in Oakland to come to the ballpark. That’s been reflected in the club’s attendance, and after drawing only 13,522 fans on Opening Day, the Athletics drew fewer that total over the next three games combined, averaging just 4,460 over that stretch. Given how well the Red Sox typically draw on the west coast, it’s entirely possible there could be more Red Sox fans in the Oakland Coliseum than Athletics fans this week.

Oakland lost its first series 1-3 to the Cleveland Guardians, dropping the first three before winning 4-3 on a walkoff on Sunday. Surprisingly, the Athletics actually stand fourth in the AL West ahead of the Houston Astros, who were swept by the New York Yankees in their first series. The Red Sox are currently tied for third in the AL East at 2-2.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming three-game set.

Red Sox starting pitchers

Tanner Houck will make his first start of the season in Monday’s series opener. The 27-year-old is looking to build on a strong spring training showing in which he posted a 2.40 ERA over 15 innings, striking out 16 while giving up only three walks. Last season Houck had a roller coaster season, posting a 5.01 ERA over 21 starts while missing nearly two months after being hit in the face by a line drive in mid-June.

Brayan Bello is scheduled to make his second start of the year on Tuesday and Nick Pivetta is in line to pitch the finale on Thursday. Bello allowed two runs over five innings on Opening Day, and Pivetta allowed one run over six innings while striking out 10 in a tough-luck 1-0 loss on Friday.

Athletics starting pitchers

Joe Boyle is scheduled to start Monday’s opener for the Athletics. The 24-year-old right-hander is making his fourth career start in the big leagues, having made a three-start cameo last September before earning a spot in Oakland’s rotation out of spring training. So far Boyle has fared well in limited action, going 2-0 while allowing three runs over 16 innings (1.69 ERA).

Alex Wood (0-1, 16.20 ERA) and Ross Stripling (0-1, 7.20) are listed as Oakland’s probable starters for Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Red Sox lineup for Monday

Jarren Duran LF

Rafael Devers 3B

Trevor Story SS

Triston Casas 1B

Tyler O’Neill RF

Masataka Yoshida DH

Enmanuel Valdez 2B

Ceddanne Rafaela CF

Reese McGuire C

Tanner Houck P

What time is each game?

Monday: 9:40 p.m. ET

Tuesday: 9:40 p.m. ET

Wednesday: 3:37 p.m. ET

How to watch?

All three games against the Athletics will be broadcast on NESN, WEEI 93.7 FM and in Spanish on WCCM 1490 AM.

Who’s up next?

After finishing this week’s series in Oakland, the Red Sox will have an off day on Thursday before finishing their 10-game west coast swing with three games in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.