One through nine, looking at how Boston will manage each position.
The Red Sox lineup is largely the same as the World Series team, but their order most likely will be different. Here is an insight into each of their positions.
Andrew Benintendi, LF- Benny's defense in the postseason was no fluke. In the regular season, he finished first in OF Assists, LF Assists, LF Double Plays, and Total Zone Runs for LF. How he did not win a Gold Glove is bewildering. Although his home runs and RBI stayed similar to 2017 last year his extra base hits nearly doubled, and he scored nineteen more runs. He improved his batting average to .290, and his slugging percentage to .465 . Their is huge potential for Benintendi to be the next breakout star for the Red Sox.
Mookie Betts, RF - It's hard to improve upon an MVP season, so that is the only concern for Betts. Last season Mookie had a year that quite possibly was the best for any leadoff hitter of all time. If they keep him batting second though, he might even have a better year, as he will undoubtedly get more RBI. To top it all off, he is arguably the best defensive right fielder in the game. As long as Mookie is around, the Red Sox will have just as good a shot as any to take home their second straight World Series title.
Rafael Devers, 3B - Devers has a bright future (he's only 22), but I don't think that Alex Cora will keep him in the three spot in the lineup. If it were up to me, I'd have J.D. Martinez batting third, with Devers behind Bogaerts in the five spot. Although Devers struggled a little last year, remember that he is young, and not long ago was an elite MLB prospect. He is not even close to his ceiling. He also lost a little weight over the off season, which should improve his somewhat embarrassing defense last season. He finished second in the AL with 24 errors, three more than his 21 home runs.
J.D. Martinez, DH - Why is J.D. Martinez still not looked at as one of the baseball's best? A .330 batting average, 43 home runs, and 130 RBI were second, second, and first in the MLB respectively. He is one of those guys who opposing pitchers just completely fear, plus at 31 years old he is right in his prime. His unique training and practice are finally paying off, and Martinez is bound for another MVP year. In the American League he will play DH, but in the NL he is likely to played left field. I will be interested to see where the Sox have him bat in the lineup, but most likely, I think he will be third.
Xander Bogaerts, SS - Bogaerts fell under the shadow of other Red Sox stars last season, but it was still a great year for the 26 year old. He had a .288 batting average, while achieving career highs in doubles (45), home runs (23), and RBI (103), which was also fifth in the AL. He is up there with Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor in consideration for the best shortstop in the game. Bogaerts is easily one of the most underrated players in baseball.
Mitch Moreland, 1B - I will be interested to see how Alex Cora will manage the first base position. Steve Pearce, who has played with seven different clubs opted to stay in Boston after winning a title and World Series MVP. Last season, Pearce did the duties against left handed pitchers, but Sam Travis will take his place until Pearce returns from injury. Moreland, a lefty batter will man first against righties. Moreland and Pearce are both strong first basemen with power, and get the job done on defense.
Eduardo Nuñez, 2B - Last year everyone wondered when Dustin Pedroia would come back, and it never happened, but it will this year. Although he primarily split time with Devers at third base last year, Nuñez will start the 2019 season as the Sox second basemen. Ian Kinsler manned second during Boston's title run, but he was less than stellar batting just .206 in the postseason. The position is no doubt a bit of a question mark for the Red Sox, but hopefully Pedroia can return and be somewhere near his old self. Brock Holt will also get some time at second, along with practically every other spot on the field.
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF - If it weren't for Jackie's brilliant defense, he would not be on this list. He was the best defensive player in the league according to the stat Rtot, which measures the number of runs above or below average the player is worth based on the number of plays made (Baseballreference.com) at a plus 24. His offense is another story though. He batted .234, something that has got to improve if he wants to ever bat above the eight or nine spot.
Christian Vazquez, C - The loss of Sandy Leon, despite a good presence behind the plate, will not bring downfall to the Red Sox. I don't think that anyone is going to go out and brag about Boston's catchers, but clearly they don't need to. Last season Leon played 87 games, Christian Vazquez played 75, and Blake Swihart played 28. They batted .177, .207, and .229, and hit a total of just 11 home runs. As long as their defense and connection with the pitchers is strong, things are good for the Red Sox catchers.