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Red Sox vs. Twins: Opening Day(ish) lineup

If it weren't for the National League...

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Day is right around the corner, and the Red Sox are pulling no punches in the buildup as they send their full starting nine against the Twins Thursday evening.

Boston Red Sox (15-11)

  1. Mookie Betts, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
  5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  6. Mike Napoli, 1B
  7. Shane Victorino, RF
  8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  9. Ryan Hanigan, C

Starting Pitcher -- Rick Porcello

Substitute Clay Buchholz for Rick Porcello, and you've got the group the Red Sox would like to send out there on Monday. Not the group they can send out there, unfortunately, as they're opening the season under National League rules because oh God year-round interleague is a thing and why oh why? But if you take Mike Napoli out of the mix, stick Ortiz at first (he's been getting some reps in there, apparently) and put Clay Buchholz batting ninth, you've got your Monday lineup.

Monday. It certainly is nice to be able to talk about Opening Day based on the day of the week rather than the date of the year. We're almost there.

First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET with the MLB Network providing a broadcast.