You know, it’s funny how life works sometimes. There are times where the expected actually happens. Sometimes, the unexpected happens and it tosses us in a whole other direction in life. Then, there’s sports. Sports are so unpredictable these days.
Look at the Boston Red Sox. They finished 2020 with a 24-36 record, which was the 4th worst in the MLB. Fast forward a year and 35 games in, the Red Sox find themselves at 22-13. This is good for the best record in baseball. The MLB took notice as they awarded the Red Sox the top ranking in their weekly power rankings.
The @RedSox are good.
There’s a new No. 1 for the first time this year. 👀
Full rankings ➡️ https://t.co/cq6YqwE1gK
— MLB (@MLB) May 10, 2021
It’s only 35 games, but it’s SO fun watching this Red Sox team. Why are they so good almost one-fourth of the way into the season? Let’s analyze it a bit.
Don’t get this confused in the slightest. The Red Sox are nowhere near the top of the standings without Alex Cora back at the helm. Cora has a way about him that players love. He’s relatable, but also fair. You never really hear about anybody being in Cora’s doghouse. Plus, let’s look at Ron Roenicke from last year. There just wasn’t the same energy, vibe, or excitement being in that clubhouse in 2020. Cora brings a whole different energy. He’s one of the better managers in baseball and there’s no debate there.
The Offensive Numbers
The offense is producing at the rate we all thought they would. The two through six of Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Christian Vazquez all have averages of .280 or higher. Three of those hitters (Verdugo, Martinez, and Bogaerts) are hitting over .300 currently. This Red Sox team feels like they can come up with a big hit in any situation. There’s plenty of guys contributing and now you have guys like Hunter Renfroe and Bobby Dalbec stepping up lately.
The Pitching Holding Up Its End
The pitching as a whole is doing its job. It’s not like last year where you dreaded anybody not named Nathan Eovaldi taking the ball. The bullpen actually looks functional, which is a huge plus. Matt Barnes is turning into a legit closer in late game situations. Besides maybe Adam Ottavino and Josh Taylor, you don’t really get overly nervous about any relievers taking the ball late in the game. If this pitching can stay afloat for another month or so, you also get Christopher Allen Sale back in your rotation. That’s a HUGE addition to your rotation, especially if you’re in the hunt for a playoff spot.
It’s great to see the Red Sox on top of baseball. Even if its only for a week! I love watching this team as frequently as possible. They have a tough stretch coming up with Oakland, Anaheim, Toronto, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Miami. Then in June, you have the Astros and Yankees several times. If this team is truly a top team in the MLB, they’ll play .500 or better baseball in this tough stretch. Time will tell all about this team very soon. But for now, sit back Red Sox fans and enjoy the ride!
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)
Feat. image courtesy of mlb.com/