The Boston Red Sox begin an abbreviated season with several question marks in the rotation and at the top of the lineup after trading away former MVP Mookie Betts in the offseason. The Red Sox will show off their new look when they kick off the 2020 campaign by hosting the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.
Boston followed up its 2018 World Series championship with a disappointing third-place finish in 2019 and made several changes to cut payroll and get under the luxury tax threshold, most notably trading away Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for new right fielder Alex Verdugo and a pair of prospects. The Red Sox also lost manager Alex Cora as part of the cheating scandal that overwhelmed the Houston Astros, but return young stars Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers along with lineup anchor J.D. Martinez to an offense that finished third in the majors in batting average (.269) and fourth in runs (901) in 2019. The Orioles spent a third consecutive season in last place in 2019 and are predicted to finish at the bottom again as they continue to rebuild with young players. Baltimore will be without its best hitter in outfielder Trey Mancini (35 home runs, 97 RBIs), who underwent surgery to treat colon cancer in March and will sit out the campaign.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MASN, NESN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Tommy Milone (2019: 4-10, 4.76 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Nathan Eovaldi (2019: 2-1, 5.99)