8. BOSTON RED SOX
The Bosox are 13-10 and in 2nd place in the AL East, just 1.5 games out of first. The club has won seven of it’s last 10 games, including Friday night’s thriller in the opener of a three game series with the historical rival New York Yankees at Fenway Park.
A pair of veterans are leading the way on offense for Boston. Retiring DH David Ortiz is one of them. Big Papi is tied for the club lead in homers and leads the team in RBI. 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia is the other veteran off to a hot start. 26-year old 3rd baseman Travis Shaw is a pleasant surprise, swinging the bat well, while 23-year old right fielder Mookie Betts is showing signs of becoming one of the best young players in the game.
It’s out on the mound where Boston is held back. Knuckleballer Steven Wright is having a solid season, and Rick Porcello seems to finally be reaching the potential once envisioned for me back in Detroit. But big free agent signee David Price has been a bit of a disappointment. He’s striking out a ton of batters, but is also getting hit hard at times. And Clay Buchholz has been just awful.
Closer Craig Kimbrel has, like Price, shown that he still dominates most hitters. Yet he too has given up a couple of key longballs, and has been hit a bit harder and more frequently than usual. Those two need to settle down and become more dominating, and the Red Sox need another arm or two for the rotation.
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