The defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox haven't needed to make many changes to their roster, especially when it comes to their position player group.
They had arguably the best offense in the sport last year, and it won't be shocking if they are towards the top again. With that said, changes have been made and the lineup will probably be tweaked a little bit.
Here's a prediction of what Boston's 2019 Opening Day lineup will look like:
The Red Sox had the best lineup in baseball in 2018, but there’s a good chance they’ll need to be less top-heavy and more balanced in 2019 to keep similar production. Good news: The bottom of the lineup should be better. https://t.co/6uyGro3Qbj— OverTheMonster (@OverTheMonster) January 7, 2019
Projected 2019 Opening Day Lineup:
1. Andrew Benintendi, LF
2. Mookie Betts, RF
3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
5. Mitch Moreland/Steve Pearce, 1B
7. Rafael Devers, 3B
8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
9. Christian Vazquez, C
Mookie Betts to bat second in 2019 Boston Red Sox lineup, Andrew Benintendi to move to leadoff spot https://t.co/IzaiOY6xp8— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) December 12, 2018
The big change is moving Mookie Betts from the leadoff spot to the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Manager Alex Cora has already made it known that Andrew Benintendi is hitting lead off with Betts hitting behind him, giving the reigning AL MVP more RBI opportunities.
During the postseason, Cora put either Mitch Moreland or Steve Pearce in the third spot in the order with J.D. Martinez hitting cleanup. That certainly worked, but I can't imagine that happening come Opening Day. However, I could see Xander Bogaerts getting the opportunity to hit in front of Martinez after a big season where he slugged over .500 and drove in over 100 runs.
Good morning! Xander Bogaerts has more World Series rings than Alex Rodriguez and he’s 26.— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) December 21, 2018
You could easily swap Dustin Pedroia and Rafael Devers in the lineup, but if Pedoria is healthy, you want him closer to the middle of the order.
Boston doesn't get much production from the catcher spot, so there's no reason Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon hits higher than ninth.