It has been a roller coaster of a season for the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The team held its ground as division leaders up until just a couple of weeks ago. The team currently sits 5 games back from the Tampa Bay Rays. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games. Though, they now currently sit tied with the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics for the Wild Card spot. The Sox had a 10 plus game lead at the all-star break over the Yankees that has since vanished.
The team has improved immensely since then, the return of Chris Sale, the debut of trade acquisition Kyle Schwarber, couple that with the rejuvenation of the starting rotation. Boston is looking to climb back and claim the AL East crown.
Question is, how can the Red Sox fight their way back to the top? And can they pull off an AL East crown in 2021?
How can the Boston Red Sox Fight their Way Back?
It will not be easy, but, it is possible and it is within reach. As long as the rotation can keep on point. The offense can continue to click, and Sox will end up being a fierce competitor. The only thing standing in the way, the bullpen. Their bullpen has been the focal point of the Red Sox struggles as of late. Boston currently boasts a 3.97 ERA in the bullpen, which is ranked 10th out of the 30 teams. It hasn’t been pretty, but the team has seen little improvement as of late. The bullpen has been absolutely atrocious as of late, and of course, that is the biggest question mark if this team is going to go anywhere, whether it is the playoffs or division crown, the bullpen needs to step up.
It all starts with Matt Barnes. He has said himself that he has not been good as of late. That is a mix of overuse, and simply not finding his pitches. If Barnes can get back to being the all-star he was named, the rotation can go 6 innings. Then, you can bridge that with Ottavino, Whitlock, and Barnes, and BOOM, you have a playoff bullpen ready for a strong push to the playoffs.
Couple that with seven more games against the division-leading Rays. Along with one of the easier schedules to close out the season. This Red Sox team is in a prime position to overtake and take home the AL East Crown.
The question is though, can they do it?
Can the Boston Red Sox Pull Off the AL East Crown?
The short answer to this is yes, yes, they can pull it off.
Now, for the long answer. This team needs to channel their inner first half. This team is too good to be playing as they have been. They have ENORMOUS potential. With the return of Sale, the rise of the swingman pitcher that is Tanner Houck, the addition of Schwarber, and the speed of Jarren Duran, this team can pull off not only an AL East Title but also a deep playoff run.
Allow me to also add an underrated piece to this team. Bobby Dalbec, as of late, Dalbec has been tearing the cover off the ball. It could not have come at a better time. In his last 7 games, Dalbec is hitting .450 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI. This response has all the makings of a hot streak coming. If Dalbec can keep his bat going, along with his defense at First Base, oh man, watch out cause that could be dangerous at just the right time.
The team is back to square one, no one believing in them. That is exactly what they want, and that is exactly how they get the motivation to play better. They hit a bump in the road the last week and a half but, they can now right the ship and get back on track. Everyone hits a tough part of the schedule, the Red Sox were just later than expected.
The time is now, the team needs to step up and take authority, win the games they need to win, and take it game by game. With the firepower they have in the lineup, to the depth, they now have in their rotation, this team is set up for success. No one said this season was going to be easy, and we are in for a wild finish to the AL East race.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the fight for supremacy.
–Jeff Hoak (@jeffhoak1)–
Featured Image: Boston Red Sox Facebook
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