Apr 9, 2024 - News

Idiot’s guide to the Red Sox's 2024 season

Pitcher Tanner Houck during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim Sunday, April 7. He would go on to pitch six scoreless innings in the game the Sox ultimately won.

Pitcher Tanner Houck during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Red Sox play their home opener Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, last year's AL East champions.

Why it matters: The Sox must prove whether early season wins on the West Coast will set the tone for this season or if the team is again doomed to fall to the bottom of the AL East.

State of play: Boston is 7-3 after winning two of the three last games against the Los Angeles Angels.

  • They owe their victories in large part to their starting pitchers with Tanner Houck pitching six scoreless innings in Anaheim on Sunday.

Today's game starts at 2:10pm.

Between the lines: Fans have been on a rollercoaster the last two decades since the Red Sox broke the 86-year "Curse of the Bambino" and won the 2004 World Series.

  • They've had their dry spells but came back to win championships in 2007, 2013 and 2018.
  • They were the first team to take home four World Series trophies in the 21st Century.

Yes, but: The Red Sox have to keep their momentum from the West Coast going — not just today, but all season — if they want to avoid finishing last in the AL East for a third consecutive season.

Stunning stat: In his Sox season preview, CBS Sports' Matt Snyder noted a third-straight last-place finish would be the team's longest such streak since 1930.

What they're saying: "This bunch of Red Sox isn't in dire straits the way that group was, but this is a fan base very understandably expecting to be in the championship picture every year," Snyder writes.

  • "An awful lot of things have to go very right this season for that to happen."
Data: Walk Score; Table: Axios Visuals

No matter how the game shakes out, at least Boston is at the top in terms of walkability.

Zoom in: Fenway Park ranked 97 out of 100 in Walk Score's walkability ratings.

  • The baseball park is far more accessible for pedestrians than motorists with two Green Line stations and a Commuter Rail stop nearby.
  • Fenway tied with San Diego's Petco Park and Toronto's Roger's Centre for No. 1.

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