Red Sox: Way too early 2021 schedule highlights, key dates, takeaways

Red Sox infielders Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Red Sox infielders Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Red Sox uncertain strength of schedule

Even if we assume the 2021 season will go off without a hitch, the schedule is difficult to analyze this far in advance. We’re still months away from an offseason where free agency and trades could drastically alter the landscape.

Boston will have plenty of opportunities to face the division-rival Blue Jays next year. Toronto may appear to be a middling team at the moment but what if their young talent takes a significant leap this year? If they believe they are on the doorstep of contention, perhaps they are more willing to spend in free agency or swing a big trade. Suddenly the Jays are far more threatening than they currently appear.

The Oakland A’s would be a less daunting challenge if Marcus Semien bolts in free agency. The Houston Astros are loaded with talent but George Springer would be a significant loss to their lineup if they can’t lock him up to an extension. The Cleveland Indians pose less of a threat if they follow through with expectations to trade Francisco Lindor.

We don’t even know what the Red Sox roster will look like by then. Will Chris Sale return to his dominant form post-Tommy John surgery? Will resetting the luxury tax lead to a free-agent spending spree? Will J.D. Martinez opt-out?

A lot can change in a year so it’s far too early to predict if Boston has a difficult schedule in 2021. However, we can still examine a few highlights to look forward to.