Boston Red Sox: Recent history of how team has fared on Opening Day

Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Red Sox fans are excited for the start of a new season, but how well has the team fared on Opening Day in recent years?

The start of a new season is something that Boston Red Sox fans have eagerly awaited through the cold winter months. While the atmosphere at Fenway Park is bound to be electric on Monday, how often is that enthusiasm rewarded with a victory?

Recent history shows it to be a bit of a mixed bag. The Red Sox have gone 6-4 on Opening Day over the last decade, which doesn’t offer much reason to expect this team will start the season on a good note. However, if we dig a little deeper we may find more reason for optimism.

Boston has won three of their last four season openers, including the last two.

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David Price was harshly criticized for what was deemed a down season in the first year of his lucrative new deal. His overall numbers were bogged down by a few poor performances within the first six weeks of the season before he finally got back on track, only to fall apart again when it mattered most in the postseason. Price may not have had much success in October against the Indians, but let’s not forget his brilliant performance when the Red Sox traveled to Cleveland for Opening Day last season. Price out-dueled Indians ace Corey Kluber in a 6-2 victory in his Red Sox debut.

In 2015, Clay Buchholz tossed a gem against the Philadelphia Phillies in an 8-0 win. Can you believe it was only two years ago that Buchholz was our Opening Day starter? Now the Red Sox pitching staff is so deep that he became expendable, leading to a salary dump deal that sent him to the Phillies team he dominated two years ago. Buchholz got the better of Cole Hamels that day, a pitcher Boston was rumored to be interested in at the time.

Jon Lester and the Red Sox fell 2-1 to the Baltimore Orioles to open the 2014 season in a game played on March 31. They won the next game, so if we’re only counting the first games played in April then we have a pretty decent streak going.

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The previous year, Lester earned the win, defeating the Yankees 8-2 in New York. That may have served as an omen for the rest of the season, which would end with a World Series championship behind Lester’s brilliant postseason performance.

Boston lost on Opening Day to start both the 2011 and 2012 seasons, each of which was played on the road. The Red Sox opening on the road has been a common trend over these last ten years, which makes sense considering the weather in Boston can still be a bit too chilly for baseball in early April. Hey, it snowed here in Boston yesterday!

This year marks the first time since 2010 that the Red Sox open the season at home. They beat the Yankees that year, coming back to win after starter Josh Beckett was shelled for five runs by the Bronx Bombers. Beckett fared better the previous season, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Opening Day at Fenway.

If you’re looking for a stat that tells us history is on our side tomorrow, the Red Sox haven’t lost a home game on Opening Day since 2002.

This roster has changed drastically over the years and now has little in common with many of the Red Sox teams of previous seasons. In many ways, this team is significantly different from the one they rolled into the season with a year ago.

Next: 25-man roster breakdown

The track record of how this team has fared on Opening Day in recent years doesn’t have much to do with what will happen tomorrow. However, baseball is a game accustomed to glorifying streaks. Boston is aiming for their third straight Opening Day win and third consecutive win when opening the season at home. That has to mean something.