Sox in The Lead!

Matt Ferreira, Sports Correspondent

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The Boston Red Sox are currently 103-47 which not only leads the division, but also the major leagues. They are on pace to pass the current franchise record for wins in a season which was set at 105 by the 1912 Red Sox. Many factors have contributed to the Red Sox success from the additions of J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler to the players having breakout seasons much like Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Chris Sale.  

 

One quick factor that improved the Red Sox this year is their pitching. With a team Earned Run Average (ERA) of 3.64 that has allowed the offense to relax and do their job. Chris Sale leads the charge with his Cy Young caliber season with a 1.92 ERA and .84 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched). David Price has been throwing very well since the All-Star break, after letting up five home runs to the deadly Yankees lineup, he changed what side of the mound he pitched on, forcing him to throw more outside than inside. Also, David Price increased the rate he threw his change-up instead of his fastball.

 

The Red Sox bats have tallied 799 runs so far this season which tops the major leagues. The team average of .267 also first in team batting. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are one and two in the standings for average in major leagues. J.D. is also 2nd in home runs with 41 and first in RBIs with 122. Mookie Betts leagues the league in WAR (Wins above replacement) with 10.0. Some other productive bats in this lethal offense include Andrew Benintendi with 16 homers 81 RBI and a .287 average, Xander Bogaerts with 21 home runs 94 RBI and a .288 average.  

 

The bench of the Red Sox is very deep. Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt are some infielders who have played when Pedroia and Devers got hurt. Steve Pearce has been a key platoon player to hit against lefties against an offense that struggles mightily against lefties. Ian Kinsler was also brought in to replace Pedroia while he was injured. Blake Swihart has produced off the bench while both Sandy Leon and Christian Vasquez where injured. Tzu-Wei Lin has been lighting it up in Triple-A and has started a few games at the major league level as well. Brandon Phillips has only 1 hit in his 13 at-bats so far this year, but it was clutch home run in the 9th inning against the Braves to top a 6 run comeback.  

 

One thing that has gone in the Red Sox favor is the poor competition in the division. In major league baseball, you play all the teams in your division a total of 19 times a year. Not including the Red Sox two of the four remaining teams have losing records. The Yankees are 91-58, Rays are 83-66, but then Toronto has a terrible record of 68-82 and the Orioles are in last place, with 43-107. Playing these teams with a terrible record has certainly helped the Red Sox success as the Rays even though have a winning roster, are not exactly a spectacular team.  

 

As playoffs start soon the Red Sox hope their young and somewhat inexperienced team can lead a strong playoff push. With teams like the Astros having former Cy Young Justin Verlander and reigning MVP Jose Altuve and Silver Slugger George Springer. The Indians are also a threat with the power-hitting duo of Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor but also with reigning Cy Young Corey Kluber. The Yankees have the reigning NL MVP in Giancarlo Stanton and AL Rookie of the Year 2017 in Aaron Judge. The Red Sox are going to have much tougher competition then they are used to, but they should be able to handle it.  

All Stats as of the morning of 9/18/18

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