For the third time in five years, the Boston Red Sox are American League East champions – much to the delight of their worldwide fan base. John Farrell’s men won 93 regular season games this year, equalling their record from 2016.
Unfortunately, Boston are in the middle of a difficult playoff series with the Houston Astros and predicting a winner in that contest is tough. Should the Red Sox advance to the next round, you’d have to fancy them to go all the way this year.
When you look back through Major League Baseball’s illustrious history, Boston are up there with the most successful franchises in the sport. The New York Yankees are still way clear of their rivals but the Red Sox have still managed to win eight World Series titles; most recently in 2013.
Bringing the glory days back to Boston was Farrell’s number one objective when he arrived at Fenway Park and it finally looks like the Red Sox are in a position to compete after a couple of difficult seasons.
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) September 29, 2017
You won’t win many baseball games if you don’t score runs and Boston are blessed with two of the biggest hitters in the sport. Red Sox fans will be hoping that Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez can hit top form in the postseason after impressing during the regular campaign.
If you look at the statistics, Betts led the team in home runs with 24 whilst Ramirez ranks high in various categories, including slugging percentage (8th) and runs (5th). Both men will need to be at their brilliant best if Boston are to prosper in the coming weeks.
And then we have the pitchers. Chris Sale, a six-time All-Star between 2012 and 2017, is well known across Major League Baseball and his impact could give Boston the edge. As of October 5th, the Red Sox are 9/1 in MLB odds on bet365 and a ninth World Series could be on the cards if Sale maintains his current form.
The figures give Sale a clear advantage over his fellow pitchers at the position; with a 2.90 earned runs allowed score from 32 starts. But perhaps most impressive of all is his strikeout ratio. Sale has 302 strikeouts this year alone. Comparatively, Rick Porcello has the second most on the team with 181.
Unfortunately, Sale did give up back-to-back homers in Game 1 against the Astros this week but he is experienced enough to bounce back and respond in a positive fashion. As a former Chicago White Sox player, he has been restricted to the regular season for the most part of his career.
Sale’s lack of playoff knowledge is a slight worry for Red Sox fans but you have to trust talent and confidence to shine through. After all, you are only ever going to enhance your experience of playoff baseball by competing in the playoffs – it is as simple as that.
Whether this is the Red Sox’s year to win another World Series or not, one thing is for sure: Boston are in with a decent chance. You could argue that some teams are better placed to win baseball’s ultimate prize but with a bit of luck, anything is possible. Don’t write the Boston Red Sox off just yet, it could be an exciting period at Fenway Park.