The 2018 Boston Red Sox have been a team of many storylines. Who is the anchor of the team J.D. Martinez “Justin Dingers” or Mookie Betts? Which bullpen arm is the most reliable outside of Craig Kimbrel? Is David Price the #2 behind Sale?
While most of you were at barbecues, near the water, or even perhaps at work, the Boston Red Sox finished the sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 3-0 victory on July 4th. The game began at 11:07 am and the teams played for 3 hours and 23 minutes.
The game before Independence Day the Red Sox won 11-4. That occurred after a 4-3 victory on Monday. It is weird when July 4th falls on a Wednesday isn’t it?
I’m burying the lead. The Sawx are 59-29 (.670 Win %) and hold a one-game lead over the New York Yankees. Life is good right? Absolutely not.
The Red Sox are not better than the Houston Astros. Houston has a better starting rotation and lineup. The Red Sox boast a top-3 rotation of Chris Sale (absolute stud), David Price (absolute Putz who plays too much Fortnite), and probably Eduardo Rodriguez or Rick Porcello at this point. The Astros can counter with Justin Verlander (absolute stud), Gerrit Cole (absolute workhorse), and a toss up for 3, 4, and 5. Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers and Dallas Keuchel would be the likely order.
Notice how I didn’t mention the Red Sox #5 starter? It’s a debate between- Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright, Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez whom have all been crappy in that role this season.
I am of the thought that the Red Sox would be lucky to get out of the Wild Card game. The bullpen scares me and I don’t think this a type of lineup that can be relied upon. There are so many streaky players in the Red Sox lineup also and streaky doesn’t work well in October. Consistency or even (perhaps) a little overachieving is needed in October.
People are screaming at the mountaintops that the Sox are the best team in MLB but they can scream all they want. I believe the World Series winner will come out of the American League- but it will not be the Red Sox. It will the be the Astros, Yankees, or the Cleveland Indians.
A lot of smoke gets blown up people’s butts about how great the Red Sox starting pitching is. Have any of these guys proved anything in October? I don’t have to pull-up stats to tell you folks that it’s a big doughnut. Not one current starting pitcher has won a playoff game in the same role for the Red Sox. That is frightening.
It’s been said that the Red Sox don’t want go over the luxury tax? Why the hell not? They are printing money over there. One of the top five franchises in MLB with no debate. Dave Dombrowski and ownership must invest now. There is no time to wait.
Ultimately, I don’t see a scenario where the Red Sox will win the division. The Yankees lineup and bullpen is too good and that is what carries a team late in the season. Not to mention the Yankees number one starter.
The Yankees ace, Luis Severino (24 years young) boasts a 13-2 record along with a fantastic 1.98 ERA in 18 games started. Chris Sale is 8-4 with a 2.41 ERA in 18 games started. In a heavily right handed batting Red Sox lineup- I’d take Severino in that matchup.
On a positive note, J.D. Martinez (28) has a .327 (6th in MLB) batting average alongside a league leading 26 home runs (1st in MLB) and 71 RBI (1st in MLB.) His teammate, Mookie Betts leads MLB with a .338 (BA) and 21 HR 42 RBI. The Red Sox will be a playoff team but will they make the right moves to do so?
That remains in Dave Dombroski’s and Alex Cora‘s hands. Cora, a first year manager has made several questionable decisions but has this team on pace for the most wins in Red Sox regular season history.
President Dave has depleted the Red Sox farm system and has only plucked the best players that were made available but who doesn’t have to answer to the owner?
Where do John Henry‘s allegiances fall? To the Boston Red Sox or his Liverpool soccer team? It is absolutely asinine to not invest in this 2018 Sox team. Henry has the pockets to do so- but he has to put his money where his mouth is.
Two moves at the deadline would change my outlook on the Red Sox. Boston needs a reliable 7th-8th inning bullpen arm and another bat. To get either of those it will take moves off the major league roster. With such young talent at the major league roster, I don’t see the Red Sox making an eye popper move at the deadline.
If Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, or Rafael Devers get injured before the deadline- the Red Sox are porked. Not to say they are the most expendable players but they are very valuable.
The player that should be traded is Jackie Bradley Jr. A Venus fly trap in the outfield, he can’t hit the broadside of a barn at the plate. A National League team would value a .991% career fielding percentage player like that. We all know sluggers in the outfield need a rest sometimes. Bradley is only hit .201 for the Red Sox in 2018 but a much escalated .234 in his career. Do you get the picture? Please get rid of him.
Red Sox fans may want to see David Price suck this season but that means he will opt in to his next contract. Price has million $31 million reasons to stay in Boston for the 2019 season. If he wants to enjoy his time, he better pitch his ass off.
The Fortnite Kid (Price) is only 9-6 on the season as the supposed number two starter with a 4.28 ERA. Both unacceptable numbers from a man who tends to crumble in the big games. And I must repeat that he has never won a starting playoff game in his career in two season with the Sawx.
The team is batting .266 on the season which is tied with the Chicago Cubs for the major league lead. With a more aggressive approach this season, the Sawx have a .331 OBP (on base percentage) which is 4th in the majors. Boston is surprisingly the leader in runs (457), hits (814), doubles (186), and RBI (434). And only the Yankees have more home runs (144) than the Red Sox (124).
I guess I should be content with the 59-29 record. A cool 30 games above .500. I’m not satisfied or content at all. My real focus on the season will take place when the playoffs arrive. I am in “prove it to me” mode, as I may assume a lot of Red Sox Nation is as well.