2021 Fenway Park Opening Day is Finally Here

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome back to Fenway Park. After a year of no fans in the stands, 2021 Fenway Park Opening Day will welcome back some fans to America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. The Red Sox hope to kick off the season on the right foot, as they welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway for Opening Day.

2021 Fenway Park Opening Day

Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for Boston on April 1st against the Orioles trusted lefty, John Means. The Orioles, managed by Brandon Hyde, finished fourth in the American League East, while the Red Sox, who were managed by Ron Roenicke, finished fifth in the division. Both teams will be looking for a better season in 2021. First, they have to get through Opening Day.

Opening Day and Series Matchups

As mentioned already, Nathan Eovaldi will be getting the start on Opening Day for Boston. 2020 saw Eovaldi make nine starts, going 4-2 with a 3.72 ERA. The 31 year old righty pitched in 48.2 innings for Boston, allowing 51 hits, 20 runs, while striking out 52 batters. The Orioles will be sending their ace, John Means to the mound to kick off the 2021 season. Last year for Baltimore, Means made 10 starts, going 2-4 with a 4.53 ERA. He allowed 36 hits, 22 runs and stuck out 42 batters in 43.2 innings of work.

Saturday’s match up will feature New England native, Matt Harvey for the Orioles. Alex Cora and the Red Sox have yet to name a starter for the game. Harvey, who pitched for the Kansas City Royals in 2020, pitched in seven games, four for starts. He went 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in 11.2 innings for the Royals. Harvey allowed 27 hits, 15 runs, and had 10 strikeouts.

The final game on Sunday will feature Boston’s new comer, Garrett Richards and Baltimore’s rookie, Bruce Zimmermann. Richards pitched for the San Diego Padres in 2020, going 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 14 games, 10 of which were starts. He allowed 47 hits, 23 runs, and had 46 strikeouts. Zimmermann made his MLB debut for Baltimore on September 17th 2020. He pitched in just two games, one of which was a start. The Baltimore native went 0-0 with a 7.71 ERA in 7 innings. He allowed 6 hits, 6 runs and struck out 7 batters.

In Cora We Trust

Alex Cora returned to the Red Sox this past off season after serving his one year suspension from Major League Baseball. Will 2021 be a challenge for him as he takes the helm? How will the rest of the team do this season? Will the new comers adjust to Fenway Park and the Fenway Faithful? Only time will tell. Following 2020’s short season, MLB will be playing a full 162 game schedule, and Boston’s looking to silence those who doubt them.

With new comers like Kike Hernandez and Matt Andriese joining the Red Sox for 2021, they will be looking to win the hearts of Red Sox Nation. It will be an interesting time in Boston, as they look to battle in a very tough American League East. It will be fun to see how this season plays out, but first, Opening Day awaits.

The Road Ahead

After the Orioles leave on Sunday, the Red Sox will welcome Rich Hill and the Tampa Bay Rays to Fenway for a three game set starting on Monday. The Rays will be starting the season on the road against the Miami Marlins at IoanDepot Park. The Rays’ first home game isn’t until April 9th against the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox will start their first road trip of the 2021 season on April 8th in Baltimore for three games. From there, they will head to Minnesota for a four game series against the 2020 American League Central Champions, the Minnesota Twins. Like the Tampa Bay Rays, the Twins will start the season on the road. They will have their Opening Day ceremony on April 8th against the Seattle Mariners.

Dissecting the 2021 Red Sox outfield

With Opening Day almost upon us, many questions still remain unanswered for the 2021 Boston Red Sox.

Many of these question marks will be erased when the Sox finally take the field, with one of the biggest being what Boston’s outfield will look like. After several departures and changes in the past, the Red Sox will be putting together a new look outfield with a solid amount of options to fill these spots.

Here is the 2021 Red Sox outfield overview:

Alex Verdugo

Verdugo, known for coming over in the Mookie Betts trade, made his Sox debut in 2020’s shortened season. In a season of downs, Alex was one of the few bright spots last year. Verdugo hit .308 with a .844 OPS while also providing a spark in the field and lineup. “Dugie” is known for his high energy, as he commented multiple times on being eager to have fans back in Fenway. Turning 25 in May, Verdugo has a lot of upside and has a chance to show it in his first full season in Boston.

Hunter Renfroe

Being one of the bigger signings of the offseason, Hunter Renfroe could burst onto the Boston scene. Renfroe made a name for himself in San Diego before heading to Tampa Bay in 2020. Hunter has shown off the power in his arsenal, hitting 33 home runs in 2019 for the Padres. Besides the homers, Renfroe’s numbers don’t really jump off the page. Consistency will be key for him to keep his spot in the order to make up for his subpar defense.

J.D. Martinez

An asterisk should go on JD’s name when put on a list of outfielders. Known for his role as a DH, Martinez has barely seen the field during his time in Boston. Now in 2021, Boston’s melting pot of a roster could lead to Martinez seeing more time playing defense. It’s not the ideal move, but it is a big possibility in this upcoming season.

Marwin Gonzalez

Signed for depth and his versatility, Gonzalez could be a much needed handyman for the defensive holes in the Sox’s outfield. A solid hitter that has already smashed some Home Runs in Spring Training can also play almost anywhere in the field. After a spotty tenure in Minnesota, Gonzalez looks to bounce back in his new home. (Kike Hernández could also see time in the outfield, being another versatility guy)

Franchy Cordero

For only being known as the return for Andrew Benintendi, Cordero brings up the most question marks in the outfield. For being injured through most of his career, Franchy could finally show off his full potential for the Sox. Although due to a crowded roster and injury issues in Spring Training, Cordero’s time to shine for Boston might not come in 2021.

Opening Day Prediction: Gonzalez, Verdugo, Renfroe

With plenty of cards in their hand, I think Alex Cora will put out a conservative combination in the outfield for Opening Day. Verdugo and Renfroe will most likely be everyday starters throughout the year with Gonzalez’s consistent defense earning him more time in the lineup.

With the big three of Betts, Benintendi, and Bradley Jr. now all gone, the 2021 season will mark the dawn of a new era for Boston’s outfield.

Rodriguez Named as 2021 Opening Day Starter

Red Sox Manager Alex Cora announced that Eduardo Rodriguez will be the 2021 Opening Day Starter. Cora announced the decision last Wednesday night after Boston beat Minnesota 9-1 in a Spring Training game earlier that day. Rodriguez pitched five innings in that game, only giving up two hits and one earned run. He also recored six strikeouts. With Rodriguez named Opening Day starter, Cora is signaling that E-Rod may be the Sox new ace.

2021 Opening Day Starter

Eduardo made his MLB debut on May 28, 2015. He has been a member of the Red Sox for his whole career. Rodriguez has put together a solid career so far with a 51-31 career and a career ERA of 4.03. He has also recorded 707 strikeouts and given up 313 earned runs with 247 allowed walks.

A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Rodriguez was born on April 7, 1993. Seeing him back on the mound this season is encouraging. Rodriguez had to take almost a year off after a heart condition called myocarditis sidelined him for the whole 2020 season. Seeing the left-handed pitcher make his return this spring has been a feel-good moment for all baseball fans, no matter what team they cheer for. Rodriguez said in an interview after his return “I really enjoyed being back out there. After the first couple of pitches, I realized that everything is all right.”

Rodriguez Named Opening Day Pitcher…and Team Leader?

Rodriguez will need to be a leader for this young Red Sox pitching staff. With Chris Sale expected to miss the beginning of the season due to injury, he is one of the more experienced starters for Boston. Pitching was the team’s biggest liability last season. Hopefully, Eduardo’s return will help strengthen the rest of the Red Sox rotation this year.

The Red Sox kick off the 2021 campaign on April 1st, hosting their division rival Baltimore Orioles. Rodriguez and the rest of the team will get to show what they can do against a team similar to them. Hopefully for Red Sox fans, Boston can do a better job of being competitive this season.

Lebron James Tries His Hand At Baseball

Move over Michael Jordan and Tim Tebow, Lebron James is joining the pro baseball ranks with the Boston Red Sox. No, not as a player but as a part owner. It was just reported before this writing that he and his agent Maverick Carter have bought in at 75 million dollars. They also will be part of the whole Fenway group that owns Liverpool F.C. Soccer and Roush Fenway Racing. This process will take several weeks pending approval from MLB.

Active Athletes In Current Ownership

Lebron Joins Red Sox

Lebron isn’t alone as being an active player in a major sport to own a small percentage of another pro sports franchise. Green Bay Packers legend QB Aaron Rodgers owns a 1% share in the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks that he purchased back in January of 2019. As these two age, they are lining up business deals to take them into retirement. Former NBA greats Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan are in ownership with pro sports teams, but that didn’t happen until after their retirements. Both Rodgers and James are setting a new precedent for other current athletes to look into.

What Does This Mean For The Red Sox?

Nothing in the immediate future as this is a long term outlook. It will supply them with star power for future Fenway appearances. They will hope to draw out fans both in the park and to boost NESN TV ratings. It also pumps more cash into a large portfolio for a group that is worth about 3 billion per Forbes. Will Lebron take on a larger role if John Henry or Tom Werner decide to retire in the future? Only time will tell what the next storyline will be. In the meanwhile, Lebron is hoping to stay in the NBA long enough to play with his 16 year old son, Bronny. Let’s also hope Lebron loses the Yankees hat he has previously worn.

AL East 2021 Preview

Every year, the American League East stands as one of the most competitive divisions the the MLB. This year will be no exception. The defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays will be out for redemption and the perennial powerhouse New York Yankees have a talent-packed roster that is built to destroy. The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to have a breakout year after standing at the bottom of the division for the past few seasons. Boston desperately wants to get the bad taste of last season out of their mouth by having a solid 2021 campaign. Unfortunately for the Baltimore Orioles, it looks like they probably will be bringing up the back once again in the AL East 2021.

AL East

Fifth Place: Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore is not expected to be a threat this year due to a young, inexperienced roster. In 2020, Baltimore had a team ERA of 4.51 and a team batting average of .258. The combination of low offensive production and being non-efficient from the mound is a recipe for a lot of losses.

Fourth Place: Boston Res Sox

Boston was not impressive at all last season. They did a decent job at the plate, but the stumbling block for them was pitching. The team ERA last year was 5.58. Both the starting rotation and bullpen never could seem to find any momentum. Combine the inexperience with being plagued by injuries and you find yourself giving up a lot of runs.

Third Place: Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto did a decent job last season despite finishing eight games out of first place. Being led by stars like Vladimir Gurerro JR, Cavan Biggio, and Randal Grichuk, the Blue Jays did a great job at the plate. Hyun-Jin Ryu did a great job leading the starting rotation last season with an ERA of 2.69. 2021 may finally be the year for the team from the Great White North.

Second Place: Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay was fantastic in 2020. It was definently their pitching staff that led them to the World Series, with a team ERA of 3.56. The Rays struggled offensively, only hitting .262 as a team. The departure of Blake Snell will leave a huge void in the rotation. The World Series hangover may also have an effect on their performance in 2021.

First Place: New York Yankees

New York’s pitching staff was amazing last season. Gerrit Cole led the way with 7 wins, an ERA of 2.84, and 94 strikeouts. The Yankees also had no shortage of firepower from the plate, with a slugging percentage of .447 and 94 homeruns. All of the Yankees key pieces will be back in 2021, and they will be looking to redeem themselves afer last years divisional round loss.

Top Five Boston Red Sox Prospects

Every year, the Boston Red Sox’s farm system finds itself loaded with talent. This year is no different. Because there was no Minor League Baseball played in 2020, baseball fans are eager to see the return of the stars of tomorrow this season. Today we will discuss the top five rated prospects in the Red Sox organization in 2021.

5. Bryan Mata, RHP

Mata was born on May 3, 1999, in Maracay, Venezula. He was been part of the Red Sox organization since 2018. He was invited to the All-Star Futures game that season. Bryon made his Major League debut last season appearing in two games, recording three innings pitched and two strikeouts. He will start the 2021 season with the big league club.

4. Jarren Duran, OF

Duran was born on September 5, 1996, in Corona, CA. He was taken in the seventh round by the Red Sox in the 2018 MLB draft. Jarren will start off the 2021 season in Pawtucket. He is expected to get called up to Boston in the early part of the season.

3. Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B

Dalbec was born on June 29, 1995, in Seattle, WA. He was taken by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB draft. Bobby will start off the 2021 campaign in Boston. He is having a great start down in Florida, as he already has four homeruns.

2. Jeter Downs, SS/2B

Downs was born on July 27, 1998, in San Andres, Columbia. Jeter was originally taken by Cincinatti in the first round of the 2017 MLB draft. He will start the year out in Portland, but is expected to be in Boston by the end of the season. Downs has already been a part of two blockbuster trades: he was part of a package sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer. He was sent to the Red Sox as part of the Mookie Betts and David Price deal.

  1. Triston Casas, 1B

Casas was born on January 15, 2000, in Plantation, FL. He was drafted by Boston in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft. Triston will start out this season with the Greenville Drive, the High-A East affiliate of the Red Sox. He is not expected to arrive in Boston until 2022. Casas is the 44th ranked prospect in all of professional baseball.

The Top Five Boston Stars of Tomorrow

With an organization packed from top to bottom with talent and many exciting young players, the Red Sox future looks bright. Boston fans hope to see the team as an annual World Series contender again soon. The American League East Division is always one of the toughest in the game, but the Red Sox will be back at the top soon.