“What kind of headline is that?!” Most if not some of you are saying as yours reading this but over this article I will explain why the Red Sox should not be considered the favorite to win the AL east this year.
As we sit here on June 8th, the Sox are a half game behind the Baltimore Orioles with a record 34-24. Most Sox wins will take that after very disappointing 2014 and 2015 campaigns but I will not lie, I am pretty pumped the Red Sox are off to a good start. Let’s take a moment and realize that everything may not be as good as it seems. I will discuss on why the Red Sox are not the team to beat in the Al East.
Premise number one- The starting rotation.
The whole offseason was meant to improve what has been a terrible pitching rotation the last two seasons, as you can see the $200 million plus contract that was signed by David Price.
But he and others haven’t lived up to the full potential of this team. Price has a 4.88 ERA so far this season, well above his career ERA of 3.18. That’s just the start of disappointments this year. Rick Porcello finished last season on a high note and has started this year flat also, Eduardo Rodriguez was the stud lefty that was going to be our next ace, but he got hurt in spring training. I can go on and on for days talking about how bad the pitching has been, but I’ll leave it to them to show us. For example, the Sox dropped the final two games of the Orioles series despite scoring 16 runs–that’s almost impressive.
A way to fix that, just to throw some names out there, may be to go after stars like Jose Fernandez, Sonny Gray, Julio Teheran and many more. Untill one of those names are on the Red Sox roster, you cannot name them the favorite in the AL East.
Premise number 2- the bullpen.
Notice that they both have something in common? Pitching?
The bullpen for the Sox has not done that bad, but has still done worse than expected. This high powering offense have got games that you would expect to be out of reach, but in many cases teams were allowed back into games because of bad pitching.
Many guys that come out of the right field fence have been up on down; the likes of Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, and Tommy Layne have have mostly gotten the job done. Meanwhile big singing Craig Kimbrel has been “ok” so far this season, and Koji Uehara has picked up right where he left off.
Our pen, while better than last season’s, is still thin and could use some help–especially down the stretch around the trade deadline.
Pitching wins Championships, it doesn’t matter how great your offense is, but if you’re pitching can’t get outs, you will lose most games. Until the Red Sox repair the rotation and bull pen, they can not be considered the favorite to win the division. I’m not saying they won’t win it, but pitching is a must for the Sox as we head into summer and near the trade deadline at the end of July.