The Boston Red Sox get to start the 2023 season at Fenway Park as they host the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game series that begins on Thursday, March 30. That series is immediately followed by a three-game tilt against the Pittsburgh Pirates before the Red Sox leave the cozy confines of Fenway to take trips to face the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays.
The cellar dwellers from the AL East in 2022, with just 78 wins, will host the Los Angeles Angels, the Minnesota Twins, and the Cleveland Guardinas in April. They then have home series with the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals in early May, by which point we should have a good idea of how much they have improved form last season. A full list of data and ticket links can be found at the end of this post.
Here are three keys for the Red Sox as we head into the 2023 season.
Three Key Questions
Will Masataka Yoshita Adapt To MLB?
The Red Sox have made plenty of offseason moves to improve on their fifth-placed finish in 2022 The signing of Japanese outfielder Yoshita is the most interesting, the riskiest, and the one with the biggest potential reward. Yoshita was signed from the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball League. The 29-year-old is a seven-year veteran of that league, and in that time, he developed into a pure hitter with outstanding timing and an eye for which pitches to hit. His advanced metrics put him alongside names like Bryce Harder and Paul Goldschmidt, meaning his $90 contract could be worth it.
Is The New Schedule A Bonus?
The short answer is that it should be. The Red Sox finished in last place, but they were still just three games under .500. They play in a monstrously competitive division, one where it is so hard to get wins. The new schedule will see the Red Sox face all 29 other MLB teams in 2023, the first time the league has adopted this scheduling policy. Given the weakness of some of the other divisions, the Red Sox will pick up ten or so wins on last year’s total just by default.
How Much Will The Changes Help?
It has been a winter of incoming and outgoing. Some – like the departure of shortstop Xander Bogaerts to the San Diego Padres for $280 million – will hurt. Others – such as the aforementioned Yoshita – will help. Middle infield is a huge question going into the season. Trevor Story undergoing elbow surgery along with the departing Bogaerts is a real problem. Don’t be shocked if Kike Hernandez ends up playing short instead of spending time in the outfield. The rotation lacks a clear No. 1 (that can stay healthy) so a trade down the line isn’t out of the question to solidify the staff.