Orioles vs. Red Sox Series Preview & Opening Day Lineups

It is finally here! Opening Day is here! We hope all you fans are as excited as we are here at The Baltimore Battery. But before we can kick off the season, we must bring our first series preview of the new season!

To begin this series preview, let’s take a look at your Baltimore Orioles Opening Day 26-man roster!

Pitchers:

  1. John Means LHP
  2. Matt Harvey RHP
  3. Bruce Zimmermann LHP
  4. Jorge López RHP
  5. Dean Kremer RHP
  6. Tanner Scott LHP
  7. Paul Fry LHP
  8. Cole Sulser RHP
  9. Wade LeBlanc LHP
  10. Adam Plutko RHP
  11. Dillon Tate RHP
  12. Cesar Valdez RHP
  13. Mac Sceroler RHP
  14. Tyler Wells RHP

Catchers:

  • Pedro Severino
  • Chance Sisco

Infielders:

  • Trey Mancini
  • Ramón Urías
  • Freddy Galvis
  • Rio Ruiz
  • Maikel Franco
  • Pat Valaika

Outfielders:

  • Austin Hays
  • Ryan Mountcastle
  • Anthony Santander
  • Cedric Mullins

The Orioles kick off the 2021 season in Boston with a three-game set against the Red Sox. John Means will take the mound in game one, followed by Matt Harvey making his Orioles debut in game two, and Bruce Zimmermann in game three. It is important to note that Shawn Armstrong will begin the season on the paternity list.

This spring, Means has looked lackluster, pitching to a 7.11 ERA in 19 innings pitched. He has a chance to redeem himself and start the season off on a good note in his first Opening Day start.

Here are The Baltimore Battery’s Keys to the series:

1. The top of the order must show out

The projected top five of the Orioles’ order is, no bias, underrated. It will feature Cedric Mullins or Austin Hays at the leadoff spot, both of whom have been electric this spring. They would be followed by Trey Mancini in his first game since 2019, Anthony Santander, Ryan Mountcastle as the cleanup hitter, and then probably Maikel Franco. However, the rest of the lineup is, to put it mildly, bad. To keep up with the Red Sox offense and their improved rotation from a year ago, this top five of the order must produce.

2. The rotation must minimize damage

After a shaky spring, John Means is right back in action against a very dangerous Red Sox lineup. Matt Harvey will have his first test in an Orioles uniform, and the spring training MVP Bruce Zimmermann deservingly will get the nod. Before any of these three games can get away from the Orioles, the starters must minimize damage and hand over winnable games to the bullpen, which is arguably the most exciting part of the Orioles.

Keeping the aforementioned Orioles lineup within reach when the bullpen comes in will greatly up the Birds’ success, much like we saw last season. Cesar Valdez, Rule 5 pick Tyler Wells, and Paul Fry are a few decent pieces that can turn over a close game to Tanner Scott, who will most likely be the acting closer. Scott is coming off a 2020 season where he finished with a 1.31 ERA and his best season in home run percentage, walk rate, and OPS by opposing hitters.

3. Play better defense

The defense in spring training was something that left some concern. Either Pat Valaika or Ramón Urías isn’t the answer at second base after releasing Yolmer Sanchez. Paired with Freddy Galvis at shortstop, the Orioles middle infield must show some improvement from spring training. The outfield, which will include Mullins/Hays, Mountcastle, and Santander is the highlight. The infield, however, leaves more concern. The Orioles pitching staff will be eaten alive by errors in the field, and poor defense is never a recipe for success.


Here are your Opening Day starting lineups:

Boston Red Sox (Managed by Alex Cora):
1. Enrique Hernández 2B
2. Alex Verdugo CF
3. J.D. Martinez DH
4. Xander Bogaerts SS
5. Rafael Devers 3B
6. Hunter Renfroe RF
7. Marwin Gonzalez LF
8. Christian Vázquez C
9. Bobby Dalbec 1B
SP. Nathan Eovaldi RHP

Baltimore Orioles (Managed by Brandon Hyde):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Trey Mancini 1B
3. Anthony Santander RF
4. Ryan Mountcastle DH
5. Rio Ruiz 2B
6. Austin Hays LF
7. Maikel Franco 3B
8. Freddy Galvis SS
9. Pedro Severino C
SP. John Means LHP

Today’s game is available on MASN and the flagship station of the O’s, 105.7 The Fan. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. EST.

The Orioles certainly have a chance to open up the 2021 season with a victory. A win against Nathan Eovaldi on Opening Day will be tough, but he is seeing a better lineup than he did last Opening Day back in July.

Don’t forget to check into The Baltimore Battery for every Orioles lineup before each game! You can also find all your news and updates by following us on the web and on Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s Go O’s!

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