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Red Sox vs. Tigers lineups: The schedule takes its toll

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The lineup is even uglier than you might have expected.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we knew that with an early afternoon game coming right after a night game in a different city, the Red Sox would not be at 100% for Thursday's game against the Tigers. This, though, is a bit much:


Lineup

BOSTON RED SOX DETROIT TIGERS
Aaron Hill, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Sandy Leon, DH
Bryan Holaday, C
Deven Marrero, 2B
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Starting Pitcher -- Clay Buchholz Starting Pitcher -- Matt Boyd

It's basically a punt. The Red Sox are putting their faith in "any given Sunday" logic (adjusted, of course, for a baseball schedule) and platoon matchups and giving days off wherever possible, notably to the team's aging statesmen in David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.

And, really, with Buchholz still in for Wright and everyone likely pretty damn tired, it's just not the worst idea. Even a very bad team will beat a very good team some amount of the time--a third, maybe a fourth? And even with this makeup, the Red Sox only look like a reasonably bad team, while the Tigers aren't the league's greatest. All it takes is a bit of hero ball, and even this lineup has quite a few guys who've played hero for a day once or twice or three times this season. With a middling lefty on the mound in Matt Boyd, anything is very much possible.

Unless Clay Buchholz is horrible and gives up seven runs. But hey, if that happens, it was always going to, and the Red Sox can at least be satisfied knowing they got their guys some rest in the process. This is a game they can hardly be ashamed to lose under the circumstances. And if they win, well, all the better.

Though, man, can we not at least have Benintendi batting above Marrero and Holaday? C'mon now.

First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET because MLB scheduling rules are silly with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and the MLB Network.