Yankees: How do they match up to the Red Sox projected lineup?

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The 2018 Boston Red Sox are a team built to win, but how do they match up against the Yankees “Magnificent Seven ” and the “Dangerous Duo” of Giancarlo Stanton and Didi Gregorius?

This might be the last hotly contested battle between arch rivals Yankees and Red Sox for some time to come. The Sox, with their whopping, and MLB high $228 million payroll, are desperate to bring home a championship, but they must overcome a Yankee team on a mission to win No. 28.

Boston must win now because they are in danger of losing their best core players over the next few years. They will tough pressed to re-sign their core stars with that already exorbitant payroll, so look for a sharp decline in their chances to compete for the AL East title after this season.

So let’s match-up the Yankees and Red Sox 2018 projected opening day lineups.


Yankees: Gary Sanchez, age 25 — an All-Star and Silver Slugger winner in 2017. After hitting 20 HR in just 53 games the prior season, he belted 33 HR and 90 RBI — and posted a .278 BA in his first full season in the big leagues. He is also an improving defensive catcher with a shotgun arm.

Red Sox: Christian Vazquez, age 27– hit .290 in 99 games in 2017. Many believe he could become one of the best defensive catchers in all of baseball.

Edge: Yankees

First Base:

Yankees: Greg Bird, age 25 — he showed promise in 2015 before getting injured with 11 HR and 31 RBI in only 46 games. Returning in 2017 from a year-long DL stint, Bird almost duplicated his ’15 numbers, although his batting average dropped significantly. Because he is injury prone, the jury is still out.

Red Sox: Hanley Ramirez, age 34 — the aging three-time All-Star and 2009 NL Batting Champ was only able to post a .243 BA, 23 HR and 62 RBI last season. The Red Sox are hoping he can find some form of his youth, otherwise, the re-signed Mitch Moreland will see an increase in PT.

Edge: Toss-up

Second Base:

Yankees: Tyler Wade, age 23 — he’s putting up good Spring Training numbers that should win him the starting role to begin the year. Debuted last season, appearing in just 30 games, mostly off the bench.

Red Sox: Eduardo Nunez, age 30 — the former Yankee had an excellent 2017 with the Twins and Sox, putting up a career-best season .313 BA,12 HR and 58 RBI. Nunez’s versatility gives the Red Sox flexibility as he can play every infield position, though his defense is sometimes lacking.

Edge: Red Sox


Yankees: Didi Gregorius, age 28 — posted a robust .287 BA with 25 HR, 87 RBI and a 1.06 OPS in 2017. Sir Didi is poised to have a career year after finishing 20th in the AL MVP voting last year.

Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts, age 25 — once thought of by Red Sox Nation as the face of the franchise, after two brilliant seasons, Bogaerts fell off in 2017 with a subdued .273 BA, 10 HR and 62 RBI in 2017.

Edge: Yankees

Third Base

Yankees: Brandon Drury, age 25 — with Diamondbacks last year, Drury hit .267 with 13 HR and 63 RBI. A versatile infielder with the potential to increase his power numbers in an everyday role, the Yankees expect his offense to ramp up in the Bronx.

Red Sox: Rafael Devers, age 21 — in 222 games in 2017, Devers hit .284 with 10 HR (one off of a 100 mph Aroldis Chapman fastball) and 30 RBI. I believe this kid will be a big star but may need a full season to make adjustments.

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Edge: Toss-up

Right Field:

Yankees: Aaron Judge, age 25 — reigning 2017 All-Star, Silver Slugger, a unanimous choice for AL Rookie of the Year and winner of the Home Run Derby. Judge’s .284 batting average with 114 RBI and 52 HR — along with an incredible .422 OBP, .627 SLG and 1.049 OPS may be the most excellent rookie season of all time.

Red Sox: Mookie Betts, age 25 — in ’17 Betts posted a respectable .264 BA, 24 HR, 102 RBI and a WAR of 6.4. Good numbers, Mookie, but you just ain’t the “Judge.”

Edge: Yankees

Center field:

Yankees: Aaron Hicks, age 28 — what started as a potential breakout ’17 campaign, was derailed when Hicks was twice forced to the DL and managed just a .266 BA, 15 HR, and 52 RBI in only 88 games. The switch-hitter is an outstanding defender with a superb throwing arm. The Yanks are hoping he can rediscover his early ’17 form or he may end up platooning with Jacoby Ellsbury or possibly even Clint Frazier.

Red Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr, age 27 — the 2016 All-Star had a disappointing ’17 season, posting a .245 BA, 17 HR and 63 RBI. An excellent defender, the Sox are pinning their hopes that Bradley can return to his 2016 first-half form.

Edge: Toss-up

Left Field:

Yankees: Brett Gardner, age 34 — he was a 2015 All-Star and 2016 Gold Glove winner and will look to shine with his contract in the Bronx winding down at season’s end. Gardy has a lifetime .264 BA and .347 on-base percentage while bringing speed, defensive ability, and veteran leadership — all of which this new iteration of Yankees need.

Red Sox: Andrew Benintendi, age — hit .271 with 20 HR and 90 RBI in his first full season with Red Sox, showing great promise. He consistently makes hard contact and has the ability to hit the ball to all fields with power. Benintendi is also an excellent defender.

Edge: Red Sox

Designated Hitter:

Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton, age 28 — the reigning MVP and four-time All-Star is looking to repeat, or even improve his 2017 career year stats of .281, 59 HR, 132 RBI and 7.6 WAR after being traded to the Yankees in the offseason. The slugger, with his very good defensive skills, will alternate DH with Aaron Judge in RF — and also spot play LF against tough LHP. Boston’s Chris Sale may be one the first opposing shooters to pay for those not so often starts.

Red Sox: J.D. Martinez age 30 –the 2015 All-Star came to the Red Sox through free agency and had a career year in 2017, posting a .305 average, 45 HR and 104 RBI. Martinez can also play RF. However, he’s no Stanton.

Edge: Yankees

Starting Pitcher:

Yankees: Luis (Sevvy) Severino age 24 — the Yanks’ ace, a 2017 All-Star, Sevy went 14-6 with a brilliant 2.98 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and finished third in the AL Cy Young ballot. Severino pitched virtually lights against most of the Sox’s ’17 squad, with only Benintendi having any real success against him.

Red Sox: Chris Sale age 28 — the six-time All-Star finished second for the AL Cy Young in 2017 and is simply the best LHP in the league, maybe in all of baseball. Sale went 17-8 last year with a stellar 2.90 ERA, 308 strikeouts and a WHIP of (.970). With all his accolades, Sale might not be able to manage this Yankee lineup a third and fourth time around, but I give him a very slight edge over Severino.

Edge: Red Sox

Next: Montgomery to start the home opener

As you can see, these two clubs match up very closely with the Yankees only coming out on top four-to-three, and with two ties, it could go either way. Stay tuned for my next post when I match up the complete pitching staffs of the two clubs.

These are my thoughts on the “rivalry” in 2018, let me know yours!

W YORK, NY – OCTOBER 1: Tyler Wade

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