The Red Sox started their bid for another World Series in strong fashion, taking three of four from the Tampa Bay Rays, with only a bullpen melt down on Opening Day. Last night saw them register a 2-1 win behind a strong Hector Velazquez start and RBIs from Rafael Devers and JD Martinez.
Meanwhile, the Marlins have been better than expected, splitting four games with the Cubs. They won 6-0 last night thanks to a good outing from starter Dillon Peters and three RBI from Brian Anderson.
Game 1 starters - Brian Johnson (LHP) Vs. Trevor Richards (RHP)
Johnson gets the chance to take the ball thanks to Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez starting the season hurt. The leftie made five starts last season and was very hit and miss, allowing a lot of homers and walks but also getting relatively lucky with his strand rate and clustering of base runners. He is no guarantee to mow down a lineup, but the Marlins are fielding a Quadruple-A lineup at this point.
Today's start will be Richards' major league debut. After missing the start of spring training due to illness, Richards gets an opportunity to convert promising minor league results into a major league career thanks to the Marlins ownership gutting the roster over the winter. The righty posted a Double-A ERA of 2.87 last year, along with a strong 9.2 K/9 rate, but going up against this Red Sox lineup is a whole other challenge.
|Red Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
| Marlins Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
Who's hot, and who's not
Neither of these lineups has found their power stroke yet, but the Red Sox are finding offense more consistently thanks to Xander Bogaerts, who has been raking early on.
The shortstop has eight hits, including five doubles and a homer, in his 17 at-bats. The only other Red Sox hitter with multiple extra-base hits so far is Eduardo Nunez. Andrew Benintendi is running cold so far though, without a hit in 11 at-bats, that's not a good situation when the Red Sox have four very good outfield options.
As for the Marlins, Derek Dietrich has their only homer (and only triple) of the season so far, and with a team slash line of .236/.342/.304 they aren't in the healthiest of positions, but neither are the Red Sox.
Prediction: Red Sox 3 - 1 Marlins
Boston's superior lineup, at least in talent if not form, and bullpen should be telling here. Craig Kimbrel got the night off yesterday so is raring to go, and outside of a surprisingly hot start to his major league career from Trevor Richards, the starting pitching is at worst a wash for the Red Sox.
Where to watch
The game will be broadcast live on NESN and FSFL, as well as streamed on MLB.tv for out of market subscribers. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm ET