A crazy offseason in major league baseball has created a lot of new faces in new places. One of the biggest signings though went to the Boston Red Sox in J.D. Martinez, I believe that this team is now built for another World Series run.
What a lot of people also forget is the new manager of the Red Sox is now Alex Cora, who was a very good MLB player in his day. It's his first time managing a team but players have said that he brings a lot of energy to the clubhouse. The Sox have had a lot of success with their minor league teams devolving some of the best players they have. Mookie Betts, Andrew Benitendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. are all products of the farm system of the team. Bradley was the only one with a down year of the three but was exceptional in the field. Betts and Benitendi I believe will have their best year so far because of the acquisition of Martinez. The Sox struggled to score runs because of the lack of power in the middle of the line-up. Now though, the pressure can be taken of the guys that felt like they needed to step up last year, which will allow each player to play their own game.
The big key for this team will be the Veterans of Dustin Pedrioa and Hanley Ramirez to lead this young team to postseason success. These guys have been around the game for a while and the last piece in the line up will be continuing to let Rafael Devers develop. A 21 year old from the Dominican Republic who made a name for himself last year as a rookie. He showed flashes of great power vs both lefties and right handed pitching, to make this team stacked from top to bottom of the line up. If this team can give the pitchers run support and make their lives easier then this team will be a serious contender for the World Series.
Speaking of the pitching, their is four set starters for opening day as of right now. They are Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz. The fifth spot is up for grabs from Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright. Think about it this way though, two of the three pitchers in the rotation have won a Cy Young Award (Porcello and Price) with Sale finishing second last year in the voting. Pomeranz is no slouch either, everyone forgets how effective he was a Padre, and since we brought him over he has reconstructed his arm and showed a lot of promise last season. The X-Factor this year though is going to be David Price. The big question is can he go somewhat back to the way he pitched when playing for the Tampa Bay Rays, because if he can then this rotation top to bottom will be difficult to face every single day. Price however did throw very well in the Postseason last year against the Astros out of the bullpen, which is where Price has actually struggled the most. The Sox paid a lot of money to get him to Boston and are waiting and need him to get back to who he was if they want a chance to compete.
Finally, the bullpen. Craig Kimbrel was one of the most effective closer's in the league last year. In 69 innings he went 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA, 35 saves and 126 strikeouts. He also misses some time last season and still managed to come in 3rd in the AL in total saves. He is not the question mark for this season, its the rest of the bullpen. Tyler thornburg was brought over from the Milwaukee Brewers and has shown potential to be the set up man for Kimbrel, however he has not faced the bats of the American league yet. The biggest test for this team will be when the New York Yankees come to town and stepping up to the plate is Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. On paper, they are the team to beat in the AL East. However if a majority of these scenarios fall into place for the Red Sox then they will have a shot at being back on top as World Series champions.