The Miami Marlins and the Boston Red Sox will play a total of three games in 2020.
Although that’s only one series out of sixty games, it’s also five percent of the season. In most seasons, that only accounts for two percent. It’s going to be awhile before the Miami Marlins get their shot at the Red Sox, and they’re not going to get to Fenway Park. The two will face off for their three-game set in Miami at Marlins Park from September 14 through 16.
The Red Sox did manage a .500 season in 2019, dropping an 84-78 campaign but missing the second wildcard berth by a dozen games. The American League was extremely top-heavy in 2019, with three teams (New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins) all topping 100 wins and the Cleveland Indians missing out on the postseason despite collecting 93.
Over their first 119 seasons, the Boston Red Sox (and from 1901 through 1907 the Boston Americans) have landed in the playoffs a total of 24 times. Nine times they’ve taken home the gold, with all titles accomplished in the first 18 years of a new century. They won in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2018.
"The post-Betts/Price — and without Sale — Red Sox seem to be in a much tougher spot, with two very strong teams in their division and an extremely thin rotation projected to be baseball’s 22nd-best. – Mike Petriello at MLB.COM"
Returning to Boston’s rotation will be Eduardo Rodriguez (19-6, 3.81 ERA, 213 K’s in 203 1/3 innings, 1.328 WHIP), Chris Sale (6-11, 4.40 ERA, 218 K’s in 147 1/3 innings, 1.086 WHIP), and Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 5.99 ERA, 70 K’s in 67 2/3 innings, 1.581 WHIP).
In addition to those three, the Red Sox have another trio in the running for the final two spots. Martín Pérez started 29 games last season for the Twins, going 10-7 despite a 5.12 ERA and a 1.518 WHIP. Pérez is also not quite a strikeout artist in the same league as the three returnees, with 135 K’s collected in 165 1/3 innings.
29-year-old Ryan Weber hasn’t really found his footing in the majors yet despite five seasons of experience. Between the Atlanta Braves, the Seattle Mariners, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Red Sox, he’s appeared in a total of 42 games, going 3-9 with a 5.04 ERA. He’s only started 11 times at baseball’s top level, with 72 strikeouts to his credit in 114 1/3 frame.
Eight-year vet Collin McHugh joins the BoSox from the Houston Astros, where he spent the past six years. Last season, he was 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA, a 1.232 WHIP, and 82 K’s in 74 2/3 innings.
If I was in charge, I’d have a rotation of:
Even with the departure of Mookie Betts, the Boston Red Sox boast a formidable lineup. J.D. Martinez has slashed .307/.373/.581 with 207 homers over his past six seasons, and figures to anchor Boston at designated hitter.
Andrew Benintendi will play left field, where he played in 131 of his 138 appearances last season. He slashed .266/.343/.431 with 13 homers and 68 RBI while committing a total of two errors.
Xander Bogaerts, starting at shortstop, is coming off the most productive season of his soon-to-be eight-season major league career. In 2019, Bogaerts hit .309/.384/.555 with career best figures of 33 homers, 117 RBI, and 76 walks.
Alex Verdugo will man right field after coming over from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Verdugo hit .294/.342/.475 in 106 games for L.A. last season, and is still only 24-years-old.
The Red Sox will also count on Mitch Moreland at first base, Jose Peraza or Michael Chavis at second, Christian Vazquez behind the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, and Rafael Devers at the hot corner.
According to Rotowire.com, the Red Sox batting order will shake out thusly:
1 LF Andrew Benintendi
2 SS Xander Bogaerts
3 3B Rafael Devers
4 DH J.D. Martinez
5 1B Mitch Moreland
6 RF Alex Verdugo
7 C Christian Vazquez
8 2B Michael Chavis
9 CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
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The Red Sox are ensconced in a tough division, and are projected by Fangraphs to finish in third with 31 wins. Incidentally, they have the Marlins pegged to win 25 and finish four games behind the fourth place Philadelphia Phillies, with the Braves, Nats, and Mets all within one game at the top.
The Red Sox could come into town and sweep the good guys, but it’s more likely the Marlins win one-of-three in the series. Two wins would be huge for the Miami Marlins against Boston.
Check back here tomorrow for a look at the New York Mets. Thanks for reading.