The Boston Red Sox kick off a two-game set against the Rockies tonight at Fenway Park, and they shuffled the lineup in order to battle lefty Kyle Freeland.
The Red Sox have been on an absolute hot streak as of late winning 9 of their last 11 games. With the top of the AL East within reach, Boston has a pair of games against Colorado next on the docket. In order to keep the lineup fresh against the Rockies, Alex Cora has gone the strategic route with his roster for the evening.
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
The Rockies will be starting southpaw Kyle Freeland against the Red Sox tonight and Cora has answered back by adjusting his lineup to include as few left-handed batters as possible. The white-hot Mitch Moreland will be on the bench this evening and I’m sure will get the call if the game heads that way. Also not starting tonight will be center field phenom Jackie Bradley Jr. JBJ has been a defensive stronghold this season that has seen his ice-cold offense begin to warm up as of late.
Cora didn’t remove every lefty from the Red Sox lineup as doing so would severely handicap the team. Andrew Benintendi will still be in the leadoff spot while Rafael Devers will be at the hot corner per usual. Switch-hitting catcher Sandy Leon will also be in the lineup tonight as he’s the preferred catcher of tonight’s starter Chris Sale. I’m guessing Leon will primarily be batting from the right side of the plate but that again can depend on the flow of the game.
To counterbalance the absence of JBJ in center field Cora has slid reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts into CF and will place regular DH J.D. Martinez in right field. Though the defensive side of the game may see a bit of a decrease with JBJ not roaming center field, this move allows the Red Sox to keep J.D.’s strong bat in the order. Steve Pearce will be taking the mantle of first base and will be looking to continue the production that Moreland has created at the position.
The Red Sox are riding a massive wave of momentum after steamrolling both the White Sox, Orioles, and Mariners. Boston has crawled from the bottom of the barrel to be just a mere 3 games from the first place Rays and 2.5 games off of the second place Yankees. Being able to continue that success will mean big things for a team that struggled to just get to .500.
Chris Sale will be a major factor in the Red Sox continuing this streak and their march towards the top of the AL East. In his last outing Sale absolutely stumped the Orioles and dazzled Red Sox Nation. Sale had his best outing of the season finishing with 8IP/3H/1ER/0BB/14K, and oh yeah he threw an immaculate inning too. He’ll be looking to mirror that performance tonight in front of the Fenway Faithful.
Boston has a great opportunity to nab another pair of wins against the Rockies as they’re currently sitting 6.5 games back of the division-leading Dodgers. If the Red Sox can capitalize on this quick two-game stint they can head into a series with the dominant Astros with plenty of swag. With the way the Astros are playing Boston will need every bit in their favor.
After a nightmare start to the season, it finally feels like the Red Sox are back in the form that we became accustomed to during their World Series run in 2018. The bats are getting hot and the pitching is freezing out opposing offenses. With a chance to take advantage of a light schedule the Red Sox need to put the pedal to the metal to get to the top of the division. That march continues tonight against the Rockies.
Tonight’s game takes place from Fenway Park with a matchup of Chris Sale v. Kyle Freeland. First pitch is tentatively scheduled for 7:10 PM EST.