Red Sox Series Preview: At Rays

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Apr 11, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder

Daniel Nava

(29) doubles to deep left allowing a runner to score during the second inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Key Players To Watch:

  • It will be interesting how designated hitter David Ortiz will respond, after being told of his one-game suspension for touching an umpire, during a game. He will likely not miss this particular series, with the case being subject to appeal. If his .220 batting average so far this season has not angered him, Big Papi will likely be ‘Hulking out’ against the Rays pitchers, if he can. When, and if, he does serve his suspension, Ortiz will be one of only a few lefty bats removed from the lineup for a game.
  • Tampa’s Archer, Odorizzi and Karns are all right-handed, which begs the question of when we are going to see lefty bats like outfielder Daniel Nava come to the plate for the Red Sox. He has started a few games and earned 5 RBIs for the campaign, before being a pinch hitter in recent outings, with little results. However, Nava’s luck may change if he gets to start again.
  • The recent Orioles series really dampened the spark of the first week of the season. No more so than players like leadoff hitter Mookie Betts. The starting center fielder is hitting just .171 against righty pitchers. That trend will need to change if the Red Sox want to win the series and keep Betts in the starting lineup.