The wait is almost over, as we are just under two months away from Opening Day of the MLB season. The Boston Red Sox will begin action Thursday, March 28 when they travel to Seattle to take on the Mariners. With Alex Cora still at the helm, and a strong roster retention, the Red Sox will be looking to make it back to another World Series.
While Boston may not hit their mark of 108 won games in the regular season and just completely bulldoze their way through the playoffs like they did last year, this team is certainly more than capable of winning the American League East for the fourth straight year and make some noise in the postseason. The team, sticking with the same young nucleus as last year, will be led by MVP right fielder Mookie Betts and the other young studs in shortstop Xander Bogaerts, left fielder Andrew Benintendi, catcher Christian Vasquez, third baseman Rafael Devers, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and swiss army knife Brock Holt. Paired with this fresh youth is a slew of veterans, including first baseman Mitch Moreland, designated hitters Steve Pearce and J.D. Martinez and second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The 35-year-old second baseman missed the majority of the 2018 season due to injuries. But when it comes to Pedroia, his impact on this team goes beyond his abilities on the field. He has been a tremendous leader of the club since his rookie year in 2007.
With a bullpen retention, outside of Drew Pomeranz going to the San Francisco Giants and Joe Kelly going to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team’s ability to shut teams down on offense will be just as potent as it was last season. The rotation will include Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez. This group gave the league every reason to believe they are arguably the best group following their performance this postseason. The two key players that deserve the majority of that credit are Price and Eovaldi. David Price, who signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season with a seven year and $217 million contract, was criticized more than just about anybody on the team. It was fair to question Price’s postseason ability and mental toughness going into this year. He was 0-8 as a starter in the playoffs before this year, but he was tough as nails this year finishing 3-1 in the playoffs with a 3.46 ERA, including the World Series clincher in game five against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nathan Eovaldi was another player that really stepped up and played his best when the team needed him to. Eovaldi, who was acquired by the Red Sox before the trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Rays, was 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in the postseason.
With the main losses this offseason being pitchers Kelly and Pomeranz, the World Series winning roster has significant firepower heading into the regular season. Still up in the air is the future of closer Craig Kimbrel, who remains a free agent. Aside from a couple losses, the Red Sox roster bolsters a team that is just as good as anyone else in the league. Spring training kicks off on Valentine’s Day, and the Red Sox’s journey to win back-to-back World Series championships for the first time since 1916 begins now.