Red Sox over/under predictions
David Ortiz – 120 Games Played
Sean: Over – He’ll get more rest than usual now that he’s on the wrong side of 40, but as long as he stays healthy he should reach 120 games. He has played in at least 137 games in each of the last three seasons and his role as the DH helps conserve his body over the grueling schedule. Don’t expect to see him manning first base during inter-league games as often as he used to, especially if Hanley Ramirez is hitting well. As Ortiz makes his farewell tour he will want to ensure that he plays in front of the Fenway crowd as often as he can, as well as getting at least one start in every park the Red Sox visit.
Drew: Over – He has gone beneath that number only once in the past 15 season so he will be able to manage his pain in his sore Achilles tendons and play about 135 games this season, including only the bare minimum at first base, unlike last year when he had to fill in more there out of necessity.
Rick: Over – He’s a DH! Only issue is if he suffers a hamstring pull during a home run trot.
Dustin Pedroia – 120 Games Played
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Sean: Over – He only played in 93 games last season, but that was in part due to attempting to come back too early from a hamstring issue, resulting in a setback that put him back on the shelf. The Red Sox won’t make that mistake with him again. He’s dealt with a variety of injuries over the last few years, but none have been chronic issues that we need to be concerned about popping up again.
Drew: Over – When you have Brock Holt on the bench no one should be getting gassed from too many games. This rest should keep Pedroia healthy and easily able to play over 120 games.
Rick: Over – Sees the competition on the horizon
Christian Vazquez – 75 Games Played
Sean: Under – He’s almost certain to begin the season in Pawtucket as he works his way back from a lost season. Blake Swihart is going to be the primary catcher for the Red Sox and it does them no good to let Vazquez sit on the bench all season. Any injury could change this outlook, as could a mid-season trade that may ship Ryan Hanigan out of town. Aside from that, hard to see enough playing time being available at the big league level to warrant calling him up until the second half of the season.
Drew: Under – With Hanigan still under contract and Swihart with the experience he had last year and second half success (.303/.353/.452), my call is that despite his defensive wizardry, he will be starting the year at AAA where he will be able to get regular at-bats and get his feet under him before he is entrusted with major workload at the big league level.
Rick: Under – Will spend 50 games in Pawtucket.