Boston Red Sox Batting Lineup Summary: Last year I thought Boston's batters would take a step back without David Ortiz and that's exactly what happened. The Red Sox hired Alex Cora a bench coach who was the batting coach/hitting coach/bench coach on the Houston Astros to be the new manager. They also got J.D. Martinez as a designated hitter and are likely to move Mookie Betts to a lead off spot. Boston's batting lineup will be more lethal and dangerous for this reason with Cora as the new manager. Eight of their nine batters hit ten or more home runs and their new manager Cora developed a lot of quality power bats with the Houston Astros before taking over as manager for a Red Sox team that got eliminated by Cora's team Houston in 2017.
Boston Red Sox Starting Rotation
Boston Red Sox Starting Rotation Summary: Boston's rotation has one elite asset in Chris Sale. David Price can be a good complimentary starter when he is in the zone same with Rick Porcello. At the same time both of those pitchers can be major liabilities whether it is staying healthy or just having bad days. Drew Pomeranz finally clicked as a number four starter. If Price and Porcello can perform like number one starters and take pressure off of Chris Sale, this can be a very lethal rotation. They still lack a number five starter though. Brian Johnson needs to step up this year otherwise someone in Boston's incredibly deep farm system could have his job in 2019. Boston has one of the best closers in Craig Kimbrel so if anyone in this starting rotation manages to pitch 7 innings a game that's a game Boston should be able to win as long as the Red Sox are ahead.
Boston Red Sox Bullpen
Boston Red Sox Bullpen Summary: Boston has made some adjustments with their bullpen. Eduardo Rodriguez was a horrible number five starter, but he is expected to be demoted to long reliever where he will do much better. Robby Scott is an upgrade over the other long reliever they had last season.
I really like the middle relievers too. Heath Hembree had to move from long reliever to set up pitcher with Thornburg getting injured in 2017. Now he will get to be used as a middle reliever in 2018 with other guys like Carson Smith, Matt Barnes, and Joe Kelly complimenting him.
Set up pitcher Tyler Thornburg can be a huge asset if he's healthy in the eighth inning. Craig Kimbrell is still a top 15 closer in the MLB.
The Boston Red Sox had a lot of questions with their bullpen last season. This bullpen appears to be much deeper if the Red Sox pitchers stay healthy.
Prediction: Last year I thought the Red Sox were the second best team in the AL behind Cleveland. This was before the Astros got Verlander and the Yankees made the 2017 ALCS.
Boston doesn't have a starting five to make the World Series just yet. At the same time, this is one of the four best teams in the AL along with Cleveland, Houston, and their AL East rival the New York Yankees.
The talent is there for Boston to return to the ALDS and win the AL East for a third year in a row. Even if the Yankees win the AL East division, I expect Boston to be a wild card at the very worst.
Boston will be back in the postseason. The question is what do they do in October. There is enough talent in their bullpen to make a run to the 2018 ALCS assuming everyone in this bullpen is completely healthy. I think they lack one more effective starter to get to the Fall Classic at this point. In order for Boston to win the AL they need home field throughout the AL Playoffs as well as one acquisition to boost their starting rotation at the 2018 MLB Trade deadline if they expect to make any run in the AL in 2018.