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Red Sox vs. Royals Lineups: If not now, then when?

The Red Sox are done with the gauntlet 14-game stretch. It’s time for good baseball.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

If it seems like forever since the Red Sox have played a team other than the Yankees or Rays, it’s because it has been. The long 14-game stretch against the two division rivals finally ended on Sunday and in the worst possible way. Boston lost the last eight games in that stretch after winning five of the first six, and find their playoff chances slipping further and further away. If there is going to be a recovery, they have to take advantage of their schedule softening up in the near future, beginning with this series against the Royals.

Kansas City is one of the worst teams in all of baseball, with some solid hitters at the top of the lineup but very little depth and very little in the way of pitching. There is, frankly, no excuse for Boston not to win this series and given the importance of every game from here on out they should sweep.

It’s one game at a time for this team, though, and the focus is on Monday’s series opener. Rick Porcello will get the ball for the Red Sox, mired in one of the worst slumps of his career. He has been almost unbelievably hittable over the last month-plus and has fallen victim to the long ball even more than usual. If he’s going to turn it around, this type of Royals team with very little power — they are 27th in Isolated Power — is the team against whom he should do it. Of course, we’ve seen bad teams hit Porcello around this year, so it’s far from a given.

On the other side, the Red Sox offense has a chance to give major run support to all three starters in this series. That is certainly true on Monday with the team going up against left-hander Mike Montgomery. The southpaw was just recently traded to the Royals and has struggled in three starts after struggling in the Cubs bullpen earlier in the year. Boston sends out their vs. LHP lineup here, meaning Sam Travis is at first and Michael Chavis is at second.

Update: J.D. Martinez was scratched with a sore back. Christian Vázquez will slide into the DH slot and Sandy León enters the lineup as the catcher.

The full lineups are below.

Game 115 vs. Royals

Lineup Spot Royals Red Sox
Lineup Spot Royals Red Sox
1 Whit Merrfield, 2B Mookie Betts, RF
2 Alex Gordon, LF Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Hunter Dozier, RF Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Jorge Soler, DH Andrew Benintendi, LF
5 Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B Sam Travis, 1B
6 Ryan O'Hearn, 1B Christian Vázuez, DH
7 Bubba Starling, CF Michael Chavis, 2B
8 Meibrys Viloria, C Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
9 Nicky Lopez, SS Sandy León, C
SP Mike Montgomery, LHP Rick Porcello, RHP