The Boston Red Sox sit in the middle of the AL East with a record of 11-9 and have a tough schedule starting them down.
They finish play with the New York Yankees tonight, welcome the Chicago Cubs for three begining tomorrow and host the Orioles for a trio of games starting Monday.
If they can split with the Yankees it would at least give the team momentum going into the next pair of series.
The AL East may be the most competitive division in baseball, as the Red Sox are parked behind the Yankees and Orioles in the early season standings. Besides the AL Central, which has three teams (Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox) tied with a record of 11-9, the AL East is the only division in baseball to have more than two squads over .500.
The Red Sox hope to take advantage of this homestand to gain some early advantage in what will be a tight-knit race for the division title.
In the past 10 years, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry has been rather even keeled in terms of wins (Yankees 95, Red Sox 91) and the runs per game margin (Yankees 5.19, Red Sox 5.02) could be split by hairs.
The rivalry has turned a new page being written with new characters. With Aaron Judge’s slended perfomance on both sides of the ball in game No. 1 of the series, it gave the Red Sox a sour taste of the past, and the Yankees a hopeful glimpse into the future. Yet, the Red Sox can steal one tonight via prized offseason addition Chris Sale taking the bump.
However, Sale taking the hill doesn’t solve the team’s offensive struggles. In the midst of this early season, the Red Sox are only averaging 3.9 runs per game with a team ERA of 3.49. The Yankees are averaging 5.0 runs a game with a 3.05 team ERA.
The three “B’s” at the top of the lineup – Benintendi (.347), Betts (.324) and Bogaerts (.311) – are all hitting above .300. Benintendi is using the whole ballpark to his advantage thus far having sprayed 26 hits across the field.
The Red Sox noticeably miss David Ortiz in the middle of the lineup with the absence of the home run ball so far this April. Pablo Sandoval leads the club with three home runs, while the Sox only have three players with multi home runs are Mitch Moreland and Betts who both have two apiece.
The Red Sox will conclude their first set of the homestand tonight against the Yankees at 7:10 p.m.