Red Sox Opening Day 2017: What lineup should be used?
The ‘Bogaerts 2nd’ Lineup
1. Dustin Pedroia (R)
2. Xander Bogaerts (R)
3. Mookie Betts (R)
4. Hanley Ramirez (R)
5. Mitch Moreland (L)
6. Andrew Benintendi (L)
7. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L)
8. Pablo Sandoval (S)
9. Sandy Leon (S)
John Farrell has made it know that Pedroia will bat leadoff but Bogaerts in the 2 hole seems rather generic. This lineup gets Bogaerts more at-bats and sets up Mookie and Hanley to drive him in. Xander has stated that he plans on stealing more bases in 2017, and putting him 2nd in the order will allow that.
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The downside to this lineup is that it doesn’t really balance out the lefties and righties. With a right-handed pitcher on the mound, it would be four consecutive right-handed hitters followed by five consecutive left-handed hitters (two of whom are actually switch-hitters who will presumably hit from the left side against right-handers). It allows the starting pitcher to get in a comfortable groove due to the fact that the lineup has a basic pattern.
Whether or not you feel that maybe JBJ should hit 9th or Sandoval should hit 6th or whatever it may be, it doesn’t give the lineup any rigthy/lefty balance throughout. Also, the bottom half is full of question marks. Benintendi is still so young, JBJ was inconsistent, Sandoval is the biggest question mark in baseball, and it seemed that pitchers figured out Sandy Leon toward the end of the season.