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Breaking down the Red Sox’ April schedule

What’s on tap for the first month of the season?

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Boston Red Sox Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

So, I’m a little late on this, and for that I apologize. I wanted to start each month by breaking down what was to come on the schedule, and it took me zero months to forget about that. We still have most of the month of April to go, though, so let’s take a look at what lies ahead as the Red Sox look to get off to a strong start in 2017.

We all know that it’s starting with an interleague series with the Pirates. Two games have already happened! The good news is that the series is at home so we haven’t had to witness that atrocity that is pitchers hitting just yet. Following this series, the team travels to Detroit to take on the Tigers. The most notable part of this series is that each game is a 1:10 start, which is pretty annoying if we’re being honest.

When the Red Sox leave Detroit Monday evening, it turns into a more typical April schedule. That is to say, there’s a long stretch of the month in which the Red Sox only play AL East opponents. This is generally how the bookends of the schedule work, with April and September featuring games against Tampa, New York, Baltimore and Toronto. The Red Sox have two series against the Orioles in April (one of them is a short two-game series) and one series against each of their other division foes.

The month will end with a much-anticipated series against the defending champion Cubs. This will, of course, mean we get to see Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, Koji Uehara, John Lackey and the million other former Red Sox people in Chicago’s organization. It also means the Red Sox will have a three-game series against who is the near-unanimous favorite to finish the year with the best record and is the favorite to win another World Series. Once again, the series will take place at Fenway so we avoid National League rules.

The series taking place at Fenway is something of a theme in April, with 15 of the 25 scheduled games being played in Boston. This seems a bit counterintuitive to play so many games in the Northeast during the coldest month of the season, but that’s the way it worked out. Expect some rain outs (possibly today) and some frigid games. On top of the home games, the Red Sox won’t be travelling far for their road games. The farthest they’ll travel this month is later this week to Detroit, and according to the ol’ Google machine that’s just over a two-hour flight. Their only other trips are to Baltimore and Toronto.

Overall, it seems to be a month the Red Sox need to take advantage of. These aren’t the easiest games in terms of matchup, as every team on the schedule has at least an outside shot at the postseason. (At least some people think that’s true of Tampa, although I am not one of them). However, they are playing so many of these games at Fenway, and they need to take advantage of home stands. Every game counts equally, but it always seems so important to get off on the right foot in April. The Red Sox have a schedule to make it happen, now it’s up to them to actually win the games.