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Red Sox vs. Braves Lineups: Dustin Pedroia is back

Pedey and Swihart in the lineup, Pomeranz on the mound.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox are looking for their eighth win in ten games, and they’ll have a big boost coming back for his first game of 2018. After he was activated off the disabled list ahead of Friday’s game, Dustin Pedroia makes his triumphant return to the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Braves. The veteran will be back at second base — giving Boston a major upgrade to their infield defense — and is hitting sixth today. It’s unclear if they’re going to give Pedroia a chance to move up the lineup later in the year, but they’ve indicated that fifth or sixth is going to be his slot for the time being. It makes sense as the top half of the lineup has been strong all year — Andrew Benintendi has had his ups and downs, but for the most part he’s done his job — and the bottom half could use a little bit of help. It’s hard to know what to expect from Pedroia with the bat, but he should at least get on base at a good clip while also providing the aforementioned upgrade with the glove.

There are some other interesting notes in the rest of the lineup. The Red Sox have had trouble against left-handed pitching all year, and they’ll be going up against a southpaw in Sean Newcomb this afternoon. As a result, we see Rafael Devers on the bench with Eduardo Núñez in at third base. While I won’t say that Núñez is a plus at the hot corner, he’s certainly better here than he is at second base. Meanwhile, J.D. Martinez gets the start in the outfield with Jackie Bradley Jr. getting the day off, and Blake Swihart will get the start at designated hitter.

On the mound, the Red Sox turn to Drew Pomeranz in what is a pretty big start for him. He’s been pretty awful for essentially his entire 2018, and he was pushed back a few days prior to this start. He’s been working on mechanical changes and insists that he feels good, but he’s got a tough test ahead of him with Atlanta’s lineup. If he has another rough outing, don’t be surprised if he’s sent to the disabled list with Steven Wright taking a few turns in the rotation. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, though, and Pomeranz can look like his 2017 self.

Here are the full lineups.

Game 52: Red Sox vs. Braves

Lineup Spot Braves Red Sox
Lineup Spot Braves Red Sox
1 Ozzie Albies, 2B Mookie Betts, RF
2 Ronald Acuña, RF Andrew Benintendi, CF
3 Freddie Freeman, 1B J.D. Martinez, LF
4 Nick Markakis, LF Mitch Moreland, 1B
5 Kurt Suzuki, C Xander Bogaerts, SS
6 Ender Inciarte, CF Dustin Pedroia, 2B
7 Tyler Flowers, DH Eduardo Núñez, 3B
8 Johan Camargo, 3B Blake Swihart, DH
9 Dansby Swanson, SS Christian Vazquez, C
SP Sean Newcomb, LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP