Red Sox Opening Day Lineup: Let the 2020 Season Begin

At long last, Opening Day for the 2020 Boston Red Sox has arrived. The Sox will be hosting the Orioles in a three-game weekend series beginning Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

According to team chairman Tom Werner, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, Boston mayor Marty Walsh, and one other special guest “who’s very important to our community” will be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch prior to the actual first pitch.

As for the game itself, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will be matched up against left-hander Tommy Milone for Baltimore. Here’s how the rest of the Sox will be lined up behind thier first-time Opening Day starter:

One notable thing to notice here is the fact that J.D. Martinez is batting out of the two-hole, something manager Ron Roenicke experimented with during this week’s exhibition games against the Blue Jays.

Entering his third season with Boston, Martinez has never hit in the two-spot as a member of the Red Sox. He last did it in 2016 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Because the Sox are facing a southpaw, Roenicke likely wanted to move Martinez up in the order to break up the left-handed bats of Andrew Benintendi, who is batting leadoff, and Rafael Devers, who is batting third.

Speaking of pitching matchups, Kevin Pillar is starting over Alex Verdugo in right field, and Michael Chavis is starting at first base over Mitch Moreland. Chavis, Jackie Bradley Jr., and newcomer Jose Peraza round out the Sox’ lineup in this one.

Again, first pitch for the first of 60 games this season is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. It’s time.

Orioles Rule Out John Means for Opening Day, Red Sox to Face Tommy Milone Instead

As Opening Day for the 2020 season draws ever closer, the Red Sox were originally planning on facing Orioles left-hander John Means this coming Friday night at Fenway Park.

Those plans have since changed though, as O’s manager Brandon Hyde announced Tuesday that fellow southpaw Tommy Milone will get the Opening Day nod for Baltimore in place of Means.

That being the case because, as Hyde noted over the weekend, Means is dealing with dead arm “fatigue,” something that plagued him last season as well, but should not be viewed as a serious concern in the long-term.

As disappointing as it is that Means will not be making his first career Opening Day start, it has to come as somewhat of a relief for the Red Sox that they will not have to face the 27-year-old hurler later this week.

On his way to finishing second in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2019, Means posted a 2.89 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over five starts and 28 innings of work against Boston last season.

With Means now sidelined, the Sox can prepare to face his replacement in the form of Milone, a 33-year-old veteran journeyman who owns a lifetime 9.33 ERA in four career starts at Fenway Park.