Xander Bogaerts is out of the lineup Tuesday night as the Red Sox start a series against the Yankees they can't really afford to lose.
|BOSTON RED SOX||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Mookie Betts, RF||Brett Gardner, LF|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Jacoby Ellsbury, CF|
|David Ortiz, DH||Mark Teixeira, 1B|
|Hanley Ramirez, 1B||Brian McCann, DH|
|Jackie Bradley Jr., CF||Starlin Castro, 2B|
|Travis Shaw, 3B||Didi Gregorius, SS|
|Brock Holt, SS||Chase Headley, 3B|
|Sandy Leon, C||Gary Sanchez, C|
|Andrew Benintendi, LF||Aaron Hicks, RF|
|Starting Pitcher -- Rick Porcello||Starting Pitcher -- Luis Severino|
A rough homestand led into a rough road trip for the Red Sox. Now, with the Orioles and Jays both holding a 2-and-a-half game lead and the Tigers neck-and-neck for the second wild card spot, the Sox can't really be losing many of the few home games they have left to them.
On the bright side for the Red Sox, of their remaining home games, a full 16 of them come against teams that are either below .500, or at least positioned themselves as sellers, as in the case of these Yankees. The other six? The Orioles and Jays, who the Sox pretty clearly have to be able to beat if they're going to make something of this season.
You could say, then, that the home games are all opportunities. No random visits from other divisions' top teams. It's either light competition, or a chance to gain ground. That being said, light competition has meant very little to the Red Sox of late considering their .500 performances against Minnesota and the Twins. With the Yankees arguably the class of the "also-rans", they're simply going to have to play better if the buyers don't want to lose to the sellers.
First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.