Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF (L)
2. Shane Victorino, RF (S)
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B (R)
4. David Ortiz, DH (L)
5. Mike Napoli, 1B (R)
6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B (R)
7. Stephen Drew, SS (L)
8. Jonny Gomes, LF (R)
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (S)
If the idea for a 3-4 combination is to go with your two best hitters, then a combination of Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz is Boston's best option.
Big Papi wouldn't need to adjust to batting cleanup on a regular basis, as it's something he's done before. Pedroia has never really served as a No. 3 hitter on a regular basis, but his numbers out of the No. 3 hole are strikingly similar to the numbers he's put up in his customary No. 2 spot.
As a No. 2 hitter, Pedroia has a career slash line of .305/.374/.463. As a No. 3 hitter, he has a career slash line of .304/.356/.484.
Stashing Pedroia in the No. 3 hole and Ortiz in the cleanup spot would also give the Red Sox nice balance up and down their lineup. They'd have two speedsters at the top, power hitters behind Pedroia and Ortiz, and then a solid line-drive hitter in front of two power hitters at the bottom of their order.
Also, there would only be one handedness repeat in the fifth and sixth spots, where Napoli and Middlebrooks would both take their cuts from the right side of the plate.
This lineup wouldn't be that of the 1927 Yankees, to be sure. But with it, the Red Sox's offense could do some damage.
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