It still doesn’t really feel right, but we are somehow only a day away from the Red Sox season. We can stop talking about things in theoretical terms, because the day before the day is finally here. And with that, we can start actually zooming in a little bit and looking at the task at hand. We’ll look at the first series of the year in depth tomorrow morning, but for today we’re going to look at the month of April and preview how things look on the schedule right off the bat.
The Red Sox get to start their season off with a little bit of a homestand — in front of fans and everything — with two three-game sets at Fenway before heading out on the road. They get a second day off — and second Friday in a row off, which is cool to me — the second of the year in the early part of a seven-game road trip. From there they head back home for their longest homestand of the month, playing 10 in a row at Fenway before their final off-day of April, which precedes four more on the road to finish things out. All told, they have one long stretch of 16 games in a row in the middle of the month without a day off, and in terms of home/road splits they play 16 at Fenway and 11 on the road.
In terms of the competition, they have a couple of tough series but also some chances to build momentum. That includes the season-opening set against the Orioles, who project as one of the AL’s worst clubs. They play them for three more the following week in Baltimore as well. Later in the month, they have four at home against the Mariners and then finish things out with two on the road against the Rangers. Both of those teams are expected to be near the bottom of the AL West.
On the flip side, they have have three against the Rays, who many see as a playoff team, and then later a tough eight-game stretch against the Twins and White Sox. They also have two against the Mets, who many see as the favorites in the NL East. In the middle of all that, they have a little two-game set against the Blue Jays, who many (myself included) think could make a leap but they are a bit of a mid-tier team to start the year. Put it all together, that’s 13 against clear contenders, 12 against non-contenders, and two against the Jays who are somewhere in between.
This is the part where I ask for your predictions for the month down in the comments. You win absolutely nothing but a quick shoutout at the top of the May preview, which is a thrilling prize, I realize. For me, I’m going 14-13.