2023 Opening Day!

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The 2022 Boston Red Sox were nothing short of disappointing. Finishing below 500 and finishing Last place in the AL East for the first time since 2015*.  Just one year removed from making it all the way to the ALCS in 2021, the question must be asked: Were the 2021 Red Sox the fluke and the 2022 Sox are what we can expect in 2023, or vice versa?

Personally, I don’t think the answer is black and white. Do I think the 2023 Red Sox are capable of winning the World Series and bringing joy to the City of Boston, we’ve been missing since Tom Brady decided to take his skills to Florida? No, I don’t, unfortunately, this team’s pitching staff isn’t built for a long October run. Especially if Mr. Sale continues to be made of glass. With that said, I also don’t think this team is going to be as bad as the “experts” are saying. There is a lot of young talent on this roster, that has the potential to mesh together and be better than expected.

Alex Cora (362-286 with the Red Sox) announced Opening Day batting order and pitching.

  1. Alex Verdugo, RF
  2. Rafael Devers, 3B
  3. Justin Turner, DH
  4. Masataka Yoshida, LF
  5. Adam Duvall, CF
  6. Triston Casas, 1B
  7. Christian Arroyo, 2B
  8. Reese McGuire, C
  9. Kiké Hernández, SS

SP: Corey Kluber, RHP
CL: Kenley Jansen, RHP

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he won’t go with a set leadoff hitter, at least early in the season, but Verdugo will get the nod against righties out of the gate. — Ian Browne  via https://www.mlb.com/news/2023-opening-day-projected-lineups

With Xander Bogaerts signing with the Padres during the offseason, this left Rafael Devers, as the only remaining offensive member of the 2018 World Series winning team. At just 26 years old this makes him the clear “Face of the Franchise”, something the Red Sox haven’t had since Big Papi’s retirement in 2016. During the off season, Devers signed a 10-year, 313 Million Dollar contract extension, keeping Devers in Boston for likely the remainder of his career.

In December 2022, the Red Sox made a 105 million Dollar investment in Matsusaka Yoshida, 29-year-old left fielder from Japan. Yoshida comes to America as one of Japan’s most consistent hitters. Posting a career .327/.421/.539 line in seven seasons of Nippon Professional Baseball. Averaging 20 homeruns a season, what Yoshida really shines at is reaching base, with just a 9.4% K rate and a 13.1% BB rate. If his skills at reaching base translates to the Major, Yoshida batting clean-up has the potential to set the Red Sox up nicely.

Yoshida is off to a hot start this spring going 9-22, with 2 homeruns and a WBC-leading 13 RBIs. 

Corey Kluber will be the Red Sox “ace” this season. In his first season with the Red Sox, Kluber looks to bounce back from a rough 10-10, 4.34 ERA 2022 season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Kluber said after his start in Wednesday’s 9-1 win over the Rays. “There’s plenty of guys in this clubhouse who could’ve taken the ball on Opening Day. The way I look at it is regardless if you pitch the first day, the fifth day, it really only matters that first time through the order, and then everything kind of gets messed up anyways. But it is an honor. I’ve done it before, and I try to make it as normal as possible.” – Corey Kluber

This will be the Two-Time Cy Young winner, 3 time All-Star’s 4th Opening Day start (0-4).

MLB.com has the Red Sox ranked 18th on the Opening Day Power Rankings. Could be worse, could definitely be a lot better. Alright, here is my prediction for the 2023 Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox will have an average at best season. They will win 80-86 games, good enough for 3rd or 4th place in the East. This season is about building on young talent  this roster is filled to the brim with and getting them experience for the future. I know a lot of Boston fans have complained about what Chaim Bloom is building in Boston; “What worked in Tampa, won’t work here”, however, I disagree.

80 wins, 4th AL East


@IanMBrowne via Twitter

@RedSox via Twitter





*Covid year not withstanding Red Sox finished 78-84 in 2015 and 2022

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