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Red Sox at Phillies Lineups: Playing spoiler

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

The Red Sox have watched their playoff chances fly out the window, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to play for the rest of the year. Most obviously, the players have a whole lot to play for. For some, there are personal milestones and goals that are within reach that can be met. That includes Eduardo Rodriguez, who stands at 17 wins for the year with probably three more starts to be made. In other words, if he gets the win in each one he will finish the year at the vaunted 20-win mark. Despite fans being smarter today and realizing wins just don’t matter all that much for pitchers, 20 wins is still a prestigious mark to make. Rodriguez is certainly gunning for it.

The other part of playing late-season baseball for a non-contender is the ability to play spoiler for those in the playoff race. If you can’t be a playoff team yourself, you at least want to be a team others don’t want to play as they look for a postseason spot themselves. Boston has a chance to do that in this short two-game series in Philadelphia. The Phillies aren’t in a playoff spot as we speak, and they need a strong finish if they are going to get a wildcard spot. As we head into the start of this series, they trail the Cubs by 2.5 games. That will almost certainly be three by the time first pitch rolls around, as Chicago leads Pittsburgh 13-1 as I write this.

If the Red Sox are going to play some spoiler tonight, they’ll have to compete against one of the best pitchers in the National League. Aaron Nola hasn’t been as consistently dominant as he was a year ago, but Boston saw just last month that he still has the talent to shut down a hot lineup. The righty will be going up against a mostly full Red Sox lineup. Andrew Benintendi does get the day off with J.D. Martinez in left field. Since they’re in Philly, there is of course no DH so Eduardo Rodriguez will swing the bat in the nine spot.

Note: After this was published Mookie Betts was scratched with a sore foot. Marco Hernández moves to the leadoff spot, J.D. Martinez moves to right and Gorkys Hernández enters the lineup as the left fielder.

The full lineups are below:

Game 149 at Philadelphia

Lineup Spot Red Sox Phillies
Lineup Spot Red Sox Phillies
1 Andrew Benintendi, CF César Hernández, 2B
2 Rafael Devers, 3B J.T. Realmuto, C
3 Xander Bogaerts, SS Bryce Harper, RF
4 J.D. Martinez, RF Rhys Hoskins, 1B
5 Mitch Moreland, 1B Brad Miller, LF
6 Christian Vázquez, C Jean Segura, SS
7 Sam Travis, LF Scott Kingery, 3B
8 Chris Owings, 2B Adam Haseley, CF
9 Rick Porcello, P Jason Vargas, P
SP Rick Porcello RHP Jason Vargas, LHP