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Red Sox vs. White Sox lineup: The last place we wanna be

The fifth-place Red Sox try to get their offense going against the daunting Dylan Cease and the White Sox.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
He’s saying “man we stink!”
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox, in fifth place in the AL East and down bad by any definition of the turn, face a huge challenge on Saturday afternoon against Dylan Cease and the White Sox (4:10 p.m., NESN).

The Sox say things are “going to turn,” and for their part, I believe them. By August this will almost certainly feel like ancient history everywhere but in the standings, which never forget, and that’s the problem. They’re digging a hole that would be hard to escape in any year, and they’re dealing with looking up at three organizations that tend to make savvy, aggressive in-season moves to compete (and the Orioles, whom they’ll certainly pass), which is... not really Chaim Bloom’s way, even if the Kyle Schwarber trade went pretty well. The point is that the whole tide will rise, and even if the Sox rise faster than others, they will be in a constant game of catch-up.

Cease is not who you want to see when you’re struggling against the likes of Vince Velasquez, but we don’t often get to choose our executioners. He’s got an ERA of a 2.48 and FIPpy stuff under 2, whereas Nick Pivetta, Boston’s starter... does not. As I wrote in yesterday’s game preview, the only silver lining here is that Chicago’s offense has been worse than Boston’s, but that didn’t matter much to Luis Robert last night, and don’t expect it to matter today. (The timing of the “oh oh” in this video is amazing.)

Meanwhile, down in New York, the Yankees have had two rainouts in a row. Can we get some of that? I honestly think it would help. Alas, there will be no time for the Sox to clear their heads today. Maybe because it’s already getting late out, Jarren Duran is back to the minors and the A-team is more or less out there, provided you don’t ask what the “A” stands for. Franchy Cordero is at first in place of Bobby Dalbec and batting ninth, but the rest is S.O.P. Hopefully the result isn’t.

Game 28 vs. White Sox

Lineup spot White Sox Red Sox
Lineup spot White Sox Red Sox
1 Tim Anderson, SS Trevor Story, 2B
2 AJ Pollock, LF Rafael Devers, 3B
3 José Abreu, 1B Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Luis Robert, CF J.D. Martinez, DH
5 Yasmandi Grandal, C Alex Verdugo, LF
6 Gavin Sheets, DH Enrique Hernández, CF
7 Jake Burger, 3B Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
8 Adam Engel, RF Christian Vázquez, C
9 Leury García, 2B Franchy Cordero, 1B
SP Dylan Cease, RHP Nick Pivetta, RHP