Previewing the Boston Red Sox season opening series against the Cleveland Indians.
The Boston Red Sox open the 2016 season with a trip to Cleveland to take on Terry Francona‘s Indians.
It was a busy offseason for the Red Sox, with new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski at the helm. The overhauled front office recognized the weakness of a roster acquired from the previous regime and moved swiftly to address those areas, using both the free agent and trade markets to bolster the rotation, bullpen and bench.
Freshly acquired ace David Price will make his Red Sox debut on Opening Day looking to prove why he’s worth the $217 million the team invested in him, while new closer Craig Kimbrel awaits in Boston’s revamped bullpen ready to finish the game.
Will these moves pay off for the Red Sox? Time will tell, but this season opening series gives us our first chance to evaluate this roster that Dombrowski has reshaped.
Monday, April 4 at 4:10 PM – David Price vs Corey Kluber
- Opening Day features a battle of dueling aces, with 2012 Cy Young award winner David Price taking on 2014 winner Corey Kluber.
- The Red Sox have lost 6 straight games in Cleveland and have been outscored 28-14 in those games.
- Cleveland has one of the most dominant starting rotations in the game with a pair of pitchers that topped 200 strikeouts last season. No other American League team could claim that last year and the Indians almost had a third starter hit that mark (Salazar – 195 strikeouts), which no major league team accomplished.
- The Red Sox plan to use Brock Holt as the left-handed half of a platoon in left field, so expect to see him get the start in every game this series with Cleveland sending a right-hander to the mound in each game.
- This will be David Ortiz‘s 14th Opening Day as a member of the Red Sox, but also his last. His retirement tour kicks off in one of the few ball parks that he hasn’t seen much success in, as Ortiz has a career .239 average and .768 OPS at Progressive Field.
- Cleveland will be without one of the top hitters in their lineup in this series, as outfielder Michael Brantley will open the season on the disabled list while he works his way back from a shoulder injury. He could return in mid-April, but the Red Sox get a bit of a gift in avoiding him.
- It may be April, but it still feels like winter. There is snow in Cleveland falling prior to Opening Day and game time temperatures could fall into the 30’s.
Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
2015 season: .291/.356/.441
Career vs Cleveland: .303/.380/.421
Career at Progressive Field: .273/.355/.331
Indians: Jason Kipnis
2015 season: .303/.372/.451
Career at home: .276/.352/.415
Career vs Boston: .325/.378/.530