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Red Sox at Braves Lineups: Whatever it takes

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Can Garrett Richards keep things less volatile for the Red Sox tonight?

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox played (and won) another in a long list of wild games from the 2021 season and they’ll look to claim another victory tonight when they square off with the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:20 p.m. EST.

As Matt wrote about in last night’s recap, the Red Sox aren’t always making it look easy, but they are navigating themselves into the winner’s circle by hook or by crook more often than not. Still, after the rollercoaster of watching a 5-0 lead turn into a 7-7 tie last night, the Red Sox would certainly like an easier ride tonight.

Whether or not that wish is granted is very much up in the air, as Garrett Richards is Boston’s starter for the second half of this two-game series with Atlanta. Richards enters play with a 4.09 ERA, but some measures show he has actually pitched worse than that number indicates. For example, his expected ERA is hovering above five. He has allowed multiple earned runs in five-straight games, including his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, when he surrendered four earned runs on a season-high 11 hits allowed. That stretch of starts also includes an outing against Atlanta in which Richards walked four, gave up six hits and allowed three earned runs in 5 23 innings in a 3-1 loss at Fenway Park on May 25.

Richards will have the tough task of keeping pace with Atlanta’s Ian Anderson. The 23-year-old is the No. 2 prospect in Atlanta’s system, according to FanGraphs, and he was ace-like during last year’s shortened season. His numbers have regressed a bit in 2021, but they are still more than solid (3.26 ERA, 3.48 FIP). Anderson is also coming off one of his best starts of the season, as he slung seven shutout innings against the Philadelphia Phillies last Thursday.

Here’s how the lineups will look for each team tonight, with the Red Sox’s lineup per Chris Cotillo:

Game 69 at Atlanta Braves

Lineup spot Red Sox Braves
Lineup spot Red Sox Braves
1 Marwin González, 2B Ronald Acuña Jr., RF
2 Alex Verdugo, CF Freddie Freeman, 1B
3 J.D. Martinez, LF Ozzie Albies, 2B
4 Xander Bogaerts, SS Abraham Almonte, LF
5 Rafael Devers, 3B Austin Riley, 3B
6 Hunter Renfroe, RF Dansby Swanson, SS
7 Christian Vázquez, C Kevan Smith, C
8 Bobby Dalbec, 1B Guillermo Heredia, CF
9 Garrett Richards, SP Ian Anderson, SP