The Red Sox have run roughshod over their opponents since getting swept by the Orioles to start the season. They’ve won six in a row and have done so by a combined score of 53 to 25. Just crushing people. The bats are on fire (J.D. Martinez has activated his Babe Ruth-mode), the pitching has been good enough, and Alex Cora seems to be getting his swagger back. Are the first-placer Red Sox suddenly the team to beat in the AL East?
Ehhhh. Not quite.
If we assume this team doesn’t make any big moves this season, I predict the Red Sox will end up with 80-85 wins, probably just outside of the playoff picture. I know they’re abusing teams right now, but the bats will inevitably cool off, and there simply aren’t enough healthy, quality arms for Cora to turn to. However, if the Sox are in the thick of the playoff race around the trade deadline, I fully expect them to make a move for a front-end starter.
Have you ever known the Red Sox to be a middling team? Negative, ghost rider. This organization is either doing everything it can to win the World Series, or they’re coming in last place and drinking beer in the clubhouse mid-game. No in between. Go big or go home. Nasty Nate Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta have had solid starts to their seasons out of the rotation, while Matt Barnes, Garrett Whitlock, and Hirokazu Sawamura have been nails in the pen. But they need a front-end horse to support Eovaldi, Pivetta, and Eduardo Rodriguez, who aren’t really aces. Chris Sale is progressing, but who knows what he’ll be able to contribute when/if he returns this season.
Good to Have Them Back
Baseball is better when the Boston Red Sox are good, and the Boston Red Sox seem to be pretty good this season. They didn’t make splashy moves in the offseason, but they clearly got better by adding a lot of reliable vets and low-risk, high-reward guys. The results have supported their efforts thus far.
Last year was a train wreck, but hey, if you’re gonna suck, do it in a 60-game season with no fans in the stands. The fans are back (somewhat), so is the full MLB schedule, and so are the Sox. That’s good for baseball, whether you like them or not.