Mookie Betts will not be in the starting lineup for the Boston Red Sox for Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Boston Red Sox will be without MVP frontrunner Mookie Betts when they cap off the second half of a two-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Betts leads the league with a .350 batting average, 1.106 OPS, and 8.1 WAR. To say his presence will be missed would be a massive understatement.
Not to worry, this is only a routine day off for Betts. Someone has to sit in a National League ballpark where they still refuse to adopt the designated hitter. Would you rather sit J.D. Martinez? He’s right in the MVP mix with Betts and happens to be the only Red Sox hitter who has tallied a home run against Phillies starter Vince Velasquez.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. received the night off on Tuesday with Betts covering center field. Now it’s Mookie’s turn to sit. This will be the first game that he’s missed since June 23 so he could probably use the rest. It’s ideal timing with a scheduled off day for the Red Sox on Thursday, giving Betts a well-deserved two-day break.
Andrew Benintendi will move into the leadoff spot typically reserved for Betts. Benny is 24-for-72 (.333) with a 1.046 OPS and five home runs in his career as a leadoff hitter. He’s fully capable of doing a fair impersonation of Betts.
The No. 2 spot in the order will be occupied by last night’s hero, Brock Holt. His pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning proved to be the game-winner so the Brockstar is being rewarded with a lofty spot in the batting order.
Speaking of pinch-hitting, Betts is presumably available off the bench if needed. There should be at least an opportunity or two to replace the pitcher’s spot with a bat off the bench. Betts should be the top option to have his name called in that scenario.
The Red Sox will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to start tonight’s game. He’s 1-1 with a 4.57 ERA in four career starts at Philadelphia’s Citizen’s Bank Park.
Eovaldi was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in late July. His first two starts with the Red Sox were brilliant, with 15 shutout innings spread across the two wins. Then he got knocked around by the Baltimore Orioles for four runs without making it out of the third inning in his last start.
Which version of Eovaldi will show up tonight? The Red Sox better hope for the Eovaldi they saw in those initial two starts with the club considering they are using a depleted lineup without Betts to support him.