Even though 2018 isn’t even close to finished, its still not too early to look ahead to 2019. At Games Con, several publishers revealed release dates for hotly anticipated games like Devil May Cry 5 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Not to be outdone, MLB put out the 2019 schedules for each team, including the Boston Red Sox, so we know what games we’ll be watching in between sessions with Nero and Dante.
Getting excited about a schedule for a baseball team is difficult. With 162 games to choose from and a lot of the same teams on the slate because of divisional and league requirements, there is only so much fluctuation and intrigue. With that written, here are the highs and lows of the Red Sox’s 2019 schedule.
The season will begin with a pretty rough slog, especially for East Coast fans hoping to catch some Boston baseball. The Red Sox will play their first 11 games of the season on the West Coast with series against Seattle, Oakland and Arizona. Currently, all three of those teams are in playoff contention, so, assuming there is at least some carry over from this year to the next, this will also be difficult because of the quality of the opponents.
Of those first three foes, Arizona is perhaps the most exciting because the Sox don’t play the Diamondbacks all that often. In fact, they have faced only 18 total times since Arizona became a franchise in 1998, with the most recent series coming in 2016. Boston leads the all-time series 12-6, including a sweep during those 2016 meetings.
As long as we’re talking about the Diamondbacks, we might as well look at the other NL teams the Red Sox will face. They are the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Philadelphia Phillies, the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers will actually visit Fenway for three games right after the All Star break, but the Sox won’t make it out Dodger Stadium. They will still go to Southern California to play the Angels (of course) for three games and for a three-game road set against the Padres, with both series near the end of August. The Giants will also visit Fenway for three games (Sept. 17-19), but won’t host the Sox. As for the Rockies and Phillies, the Sox will play two games on the road and host two more against both squads.
Of those five teams, the Phillies have provided the most recent challenge and I mean recent and challenge. In four games this season, the Sox and Phils have traded wins and losses, with the last outcome a 7-4 loss for Boston a little more than a week ago. Boston is still 41-26 all-time against Philadelphia. The Sox also own all-time series leads against the Dodgers (8-7), Rockies (14-9, including the 2007 World Series), the Giants (11-5) and the Padres (12-6).
If you’re looking for rivalry games, the Red Sox only play the Yankees twice in the first month of the season, visiting New York on April 16 and 17. They then play them for four games, again in New York, at the end of May into June. At the end of June, the two rivals will bring baseball to the UK and play two games in London. There are off-day cushions on either side to account for the travel. But that means the first time the Sox host their greatest enemies is at the end of July, with a four-game set in Fenway following a six-game swing through Baltimore and Tampa Bay. The next weekend (Aug. 2-4) features a return to New York for three games and the final Sox/Yankees series will be across four games at Fenway in the first weekend of September.
The last week of the season, which can have a major impact on the playoff race, which we’ll assume the Sox will be in for now, is mostly a road affair for Boston, which plays four games at Tampa, three at Texas and then finishes the season at home against Baltimore for three games. As it currently stands, that would be a relatively easy end of the year, but that could all change, as could how well every other team on the schedule plays in 2019. That’s why the MLB schedule release can only move the needle so much.
Xander Bogaerts went yard twice last night. He is having a stellar year but has not gotten as much hype because of what others around him are doing. (Evan Drellich; NBC Sports)
Making sure to keep Bogaerts as healthy as possible has really helped. (Chris Cotillo; MassLive)
Bogaerts and the other powerful Red Sox hitters are allowing the team to overcome other problems. (Jen McCaffrey; The Athletic) ($$)
Christian Vazquez and Eduardo Rodriguez are both going to rehab together. (Chris Cotillo; MassLive)
Lars Anderson gives an insider’s view of how J.D. Martinez became the J.D. Martinez we all know now. (Lars Anderson; The Athletic) ($$)