Red Sox vs. Orioles: John Farrell mixes things up against Wei-Yin Chen

Leon Halip

The batting order looks strange, but there's plenty of method to John Farrell's madness tonight.

The Red Sox will send a very different lineup to the plate as they go for the series win against southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles.

Boston Red Sox (1-1)

  1. Jonny Gomes, LF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  6. Daniel Nava, LF
  7. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  8. David Ross, C
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Starting Pitcher -- Felix Doubront

Baltimore Orioles (1-1)

  1. Nick Markakis, RF
  2. J.J. Hardy, SS
  3. Chris Davis, 1B
  4. Adam Jones, CF
  5. Nelson Cruz, LF
  6. Matt Wieters, C
  7. Delmon Young, DH
  8. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
  9. Ryan Flaherty, 3B

Starting Pitcher -- Wei-Yin Chen

John Farrell's selection of Jonny Gomes last night seemed odd, but having him lead off against Chen makes a lot more sense. While ideally the Red Sox would be able to slot Victorino in there against a lefty and let Gomes bat fifth or sixth, Jonny brings plenty of on-base ability to the table with his power when he's got the platoon split working in his favor.

The same cannot be said of Daniel Nava, and having him bat sixth doesn't look great in this situation. But it's simply a matter of resources. Without Shane Victorino, the Red Sox do not have a better right-handed bat to play in the outfield. Some might feel more comfortable with Grady Sizemore in this situation given his defensive merit, but Sizemore has big splits against lefties too, and it's hard to argue against keeping his innings down by avoiding games against southpaws.

Then, yes, there's Will Middlebrooks hitting seventh, which after two bad games at the plate might send some residents of Boston into a frenzy. But even last year he was able to hit lefties at a pretty good clip, and as with any player coming off a sophomore slump, deserves more than those two games to show some signs of his rookie life.

First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN, the MLB Network, and WEEI.

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