Where do Red Sox hitters fit into MLB All-Star Game lineup?
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox will have four hitters in the lineup for this year’s MLB All-Star Game. Where will they slot into the order?
The batting order for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game starting lineups have been revealed.
The American League lineup features four members of the Boston Red Sox, accounting for nearly half the batting order. That will give Red Sox fans plenty of opportunities to see one of their favorite hitters step to the plate during the All-Star Game Tuesday night, but it won’t necessarily happen in the first inning.
The first three spots in the batting order are taken by Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado respectively. This trio accounts for three of the top five American League hitters in WAR this season, putting them ahead of any other member of the AL starting lineup in that category.
They will be followed by David Ortiz, the first of the four Red Sox hitters to bat for the AL squad. Big Papi will be making his 10th and final All-Star appearance, so it’s fitting that the designated hitter will take his natural role in the cleanup spot.
Xander Bogaerts will bat fifth, which seems odd at first glance given how often we’ve looked at a Red Sox lineup and seen him slotted ahead of Ortiz rather than behind him.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Only in an All-Star game will we see Mookie Betts as far down the lineup as 7th. The 23-year old first time All-Star has blossomed into the best lead-off hitter in the game, but you can excuse manager Ned Yost for allowing Altuve to take that spot in this lineup. After all, the guy does lead the league in hitting. Betts is 8th in the league with 59 RBI this season, so he’ll be quite comfortable coming to the plate with men on base.
Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is sandwiched between Bogaerts and Betts, but this isn’t a sign that Yost is favoring one of his own players. It’s more likely that he preferred to slot the lefty Hosmer between the two right-handed Red Sox hitters.
The top three hitters in the lineup are all right-handed, but starting with Ortiz, the order will go left-right-left-right. This will make it much more difficult for the National League to match up their bullpen with after right-handed starter Johnny Cueto exits – at least until Yost starts turning to his own bench to replace his starters after the first few innings.
Jackie Bradley will fill in the bottom of the order behind Royals catcher Salvador Perez. This is hardly unfamiliar territory for Bradley, who has hit 9th in 441 of his 700 at-bats over the last three seasons, making it by far his most frequent spot in the order. JBJ started the season at the bottom of the Red Sox order and it wasn’t until he started to break out during his epic 29-game hit streak in May that he began to earn a higher spot in the lineup.
It only seems fair that a first time All-Star that never had a track record of being a consistent hitter before this year would be put at the bottom of the lineup, but if you’re the AL squad, how great is it to have a guy with a .926 OPS batting 9th?
Next: Top 5 all time Red Sox HR hitters
The Red Sox already have the best lineup in baseball this season. Now take their four best hitters and add five of the best in the league at their respective positions. Now that’s an impressive lineup.