Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers batting third and fifth in American League’s starting lineup for 2021 All-Star Game

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers will become the first pair of Red Sox teammates to ever start in the same All-Star Game at shortstop and third base at Coors Field on Tuesday night, and they will do so while batting third and fifth in the American League’s starting lineup, respectively.

Rays manager Kevin Cash, who is also managing the American League squad in this year’s Midsummer Classic in Denver, announced his starting lineup and starting pitcher earlier Monday afternoon, as Angels’ two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will bat leadoff as the starting designated hitter while also getting the start on the mound.

For Bogaerts, this will be his second All-Star Game start in addition to his third overall All-Star selection (2016, 2019, 2021).

The 28-year-old is currently hitting .321/.385/.545 with a league-leading 27 doubles, 15 home runs, 51 RBI, 57 runs scored, and five stolen bases over 85 games (361) plate appearances so far this season while primarily batting cleanup.

In the seven games he has hit out of the three-hole this year, Bogaerts has slashed .280/.406/.320 with one of his 27 doubles, three of his 51 RBI, and four of his 57 runs scored.

Devers, meanwhile, will be making his first career appearance in an All-Star Game after he — like Bogaerts — was voted in as a starter for the American League earlier this month.

The 24-year-old slugger wrapped up the unofficial first half of his 2021 campaign on Sunday sporting a solid .282/.350/.564 to go along with 25 doubles, one triple, a team-leading 22 home runs and 72 RBI, 59 runs scored, and three stolen bases over 87 games spanning 369 total trips to the plate.

278 of Devers’ 369 plate appearances (75.3%) this season have come with the left-handed hitter batting out of the five-hole. He owns an OPS of .931 when hitting in that particular spot in the order.

In addition to his stellar production at the plate, Devers has enjoyed moderate success defensively as well, as he has been worth one Defensive Run Saved at third base while also putting up an Ultimate Zone rating of 2.2, which translates to an UZR of 3.8 over 150 games.

According to FanGraphs, Devers (3.5 fWAR) and Bogaerts (3.9 fWAR) have been two of the most valuable infielders in the American League so far this season, meaning the dynamic duo has been a driving force when it comes to the Red Sox sitting in first place in the American League East at the All-Star break.

While Bogaerts and Devers will be starting for the American League in the 91st All-Star Game come Sunday night, the Sox have three more representatives who should be able to get into the game at well.

J.D. Martinez, who was selected as a reserve, will start on the bench behind Ohtani, and likely Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz as well.

Red Sox closer Matt Barnes and starter Nathan Eovaldi are both first-time All-Stars, and the pair of fiery right-handers figure to be available out of the bullpen for Cash once Ohtani’s night is done.

On the other side of things, Nationals ace Max Scherzer will get the start for the National League, marking the fourth time the three-time Cy Young Award winner has had the honor of doing so over the course of his illustrious career.

First pitch for the 91st MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers: Boston Red Sox)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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