Welcoming the 2020 American League Champions to Fenway

After going 0-3 against the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox will host the 2020 American League Champions, the Tampa Bay Rays, to Fenway Park for a three game series. The Rays, just off of a three game set against the Miami Marlins, went 2-1 in the series. The Rays end their road series in Boston before heading back to Tropicana Field to face the New York Yankees.

Opening week for Boston hasn’t gone as planned for the Red Sox. Losing three straight to their division rival wasn’t in the plan for Boston. The Orioles outscored them 18-5, and their pitching managed to keep Boston in check throughout the three game set. The Red Sox face the Orioles again later this week in Baltimore, and can hopefully win the three game set.

Boston’s Matchup vs the 2020 American League Champions

Monday night starts game one of the three game set at Fenway Park. Long time St. Louis Cardinal, Michael Wacha, will be making his Rays debut vs Nick Pivetta. After 7 seasons with the Cardinals, Wacha signed a one-year deal with the Mets for the 2020 season. He went 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA in 8 games, 7 of them as starts. Wacha pitched 34 innings, allowing 46 hits, 26 runs and struck out 37 for the Mets. He also signed a one year deal to join the Tampa Bay Rays prior to this season. Pivetta will make his first start of the 2021 season. Wacha pitched in 2 games for Boston, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 2 starts. Pivetta pitched in 10 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 runs, and had 13 strikeouts.

Tuesday’s game will feature Tyler Glasnow and Martin Perez. Glasnow, Tampa Bay’s Opening Day starter, will be making his second start of the 2021 season. Against the Miami Marlins, he had a no decision, going 6 innings, allowing only 1 hit and struck out 6 batters. In 2020 with the Rays, Glasnow was 5-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 11 starts. In 57.1 innings, Glasnow allowed 43 hits, 26 runs and had 91 strikeouts. Martin Perez will take the ball for Boston as he enters his second year with the club. In his first season with Boston, he was 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 starts. He pitched in 62 innings, allowed 55 hits, 33 runs while striking out 46.

The final game of the three game set will feature Ryan Yarbrough and Nathan Eovaldi. This will be Yarbrough’s second start of the season, in which he went 5.2 innings against the Marlins. He allowed 4 hits and had 3 strikeouts in the game, and got the no decision. In 2020, he was 1-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 55.2 innings. He pitched in 11 games, with 9 starts, allowing 54 hits, 22 runs and had 44 strikeouts. Like Yarbrough, Eovaldi will be making his second start of the 2021 season. In his opening day start, he went 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, and had 4 strikeouts. He took the loss in the game, and has an ERA of 1.69. In 2020, he went 4-2 in 9 starts, and had a 3.72 ERA. In 48.1 innings, Eovaldi allowed 51 hits, 20 runs and struck out 52 batters.

What’s Next For The Red Sox?

The Red Sox will be embarking on a seven game road trip starting Thursday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles. Following that three game set at Camden Yards, they head to Minnesota to face the Twins for four games. The last time the Red Sox played the Minnesota Twins at Target Field was in June 2019. With the pandemic shortened season in 2020, the Red Sox only played American League and National League East opponents. Will Boston be able to do well at Target Field after not playing there for close to two years? We shall find out on April 12th.

Around The League

Opening Day 2021 and the days that have followed have been eventful for Major League Baseball. Fans are back in the stands in a limited capacity, and baseball is being played. COVID protocols postponed the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets series in Washington, DC. Both teams have been cleared to play this week. The Mets will play today against the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Nationals will be playing on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves.

As of Monday, only three teams are undefeated – The Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies. Hopefully this week will prove better for Boston and the other teams that didn’t win their opening series, like the Oakland A’s and the Atlanta Braves.

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