Back like they never left, the Red Sox are on a hot streak. Picking up where they left off from the 2018 World Series season, the Red Sox hold the fourth best record in the majors, trailing only the Rays, Dodgers, and Padres. These three teams, consisting of two 2020 World Series Contenders and the best team in 2021 are elite company. It’s safe to say the Red Sox are sitting pretty two months into the season.
A combination of last year’s abysmal season and an early sweep by the Baltimore Orioles caused many MLB fans to overlook the Sox this year. However, since this horrendous 0-3 start, it seems the team has flipped a switch. The team’s pitching is surprisingly successful: emerging ace Nick Pivetta is undefeated with a 5-0 record and a 3.59 ERA. After a slow start, starter Garrett Richards has turned it around with a 4-1 record and a 2.61 ERA in his last 7 starts. Closer Matt Barnes has been dominant this season and is among the best relievers in the league. He has the 3rd most saves in the MLB with 11, and has 40 strikeouts on the season with only 22 1/3 innings pitched. All in all, the pitching staff has really stepped up their game after being arguably the worst in baseball last year.
These pitching stats may seem like they are carrying he team, but it’s the offense that’s shined brightest this year. Led by stars Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D Martinez, and Alex Verdugo, the Sox are 4th in the Majors in runs scored, 7th in home runs per game, and 2nd in hits per game. They are also 2nd in overall batting average. General Manager Chaim Bloom emphasized flexibility over the offseason, and it has paid dividends. Utility men Kiké Hernandez, Marwin Gonzalez, and Danny Santana have all made significant offensive contributions. Overall, the offense has been a refreshing success in the wake of last year’s struggles.
So where do the Sox go from here? If they can keep this pace up, they will finish as a top team and a World Series favorite. Playing in such a competitive division means they will need to win vital contests against the Rays, Yankees, and Blue Jays. If the pitching staff can hold up and the offense can continue to shine, a long playoff run is more than possible this season.