Right now in late January, it is hard to put your finger down on the Boston Red Sox roster and be like, “yep, here is how they are going to do this season”. Well, I’m going to give that a shot. It’s a win win situation; I either nail it and look like a genius or I’ll just hey, it was January how did I know David Ortiz was going to come back and carry this team to another championship. Below I am going to lay the roster out how I envision it being on opening day. (Stat predictions for opening day starters included) *Going to keep it simple.
1. (Chris Sale) 21-5 2.68 ERA
2. (Rick Porcello) 16-7 3.01 ERA
3. (David Price) 18-9 3.25 ERA
4. (Steven Wright) 5-6 5.25 ERA
5. (Eduardo Rodriguez) 11-7 3.75 ERA
It’s crazy that for the second season in a row the Boston Red Sox will have one of their starters win the Cy Young. The Price is right? Not quite yet, but he will have a solid year. (HE WILL WIN A PLAYOFF GAME). The Cy Young on the staff this year will be newly acquired Chris Sale. He has the nastiest cutter in the league and I’m not talking about scissors. (it’s a slider, but that wouldn’t make a good joke). Steven Wright had a great season last year and he deserves all the success he had, but with the knuckleball being so unpredictable that I can’t say confidently that he will have another all-star season. E-rod - The knee… the uncertainty. What he will become? Hopefully a formable number 5 starter in this rotation. Rick Porcello won’t win 20 games this year but he will be a huge piece to this lefty heavy rotation.
(Once the bullpen is set I will put predictions out)
1.(Dustin Pedroia) BA .322 16 HR’s 88 RBI’s 2B
2. (Andrew Benintendi) BA .295 21 HR’s 69 RBI’s LF
3. (Mookie Betts) BA .315 35 HR’s 117 RBI’s RF
4. (Hanley Ramirez) BA .285 37 HR’s 128 RBI’s DH
5. (Xander Bogaerts) BA .290 20 HR’s 85 RBI’s SS
6. (Pablo Sandoval) BA .279 14 HR’s 55 RBI’s 3B
7. (Mitch Moreland) BA .265 23 HR’s 75 RBI’s 1B
8. (Christian Vasquez) BA .245 8 HR’s 39 RBI’s C
9. (Jackie Bradley Jr) BA .250 20 HR’s 70 RBI’s CF
These projections for Christian Vasquez are obviously pending him getting the starting gig or not. I’d love to say Mookie will win MVP this year but it appears the Mike Trout will be taking home the WAR award again this year. Hopefully Hanley will feel right at home at the DH spot, I do believe he can put up similar numbers to Ortiz, or at least I hope he can.
Probably the most puzzling thing about this Red Sox team this season is the roster layout. Where is Blake Swihart going to fit in? It appears there will be an open competition between the three catchers I listed above. I envision they really want Vasquez to breakout this season from an offensive standpoint, because he has already proven he can call a solid game behind the plate and has a rocket for an arm. As far the other two go, I’m lost. Sandy Leon had a breakout year, something none of us saw coming. Can he do that again? I’m not so sure he can, and honestly, I really want Blake Swihart to get a chance on this club.
This may be the hardest division to predict in baseball this season. Last season was so tight near the end, I almost had a heart attack. The Yankees were around a lot longer than they should have been. Props to the young guys and excellent play of Jacoby Ellsbury. The guy is a horse, never misses a game. The pitching of the Baltimore Orioles will catch up to them at some point, and I think that time is now. Toronto will continue to mash at the plate. They still have Josh Donaldson, one of the best hitters on the planet. Stroman, Sanchez, Estrada, and Happ makes up a strong rotation from top to bottom. That leaves the Tampa Bay Rays. By default, they are destined to lose 100 games plus. Not because they deserve to, but because they have to. Somebody must be the punching bag of the AL east I think it must be them. The addition of Wilson Ramos will not be enough to bring them back to their 2008 AL East winning days.
As for the playoffs, to be continued….
Make sure to check out my coverage and opinions of the Boston Red Sox throughout the 2017 MLB season. Follow me on Twitter @ShawnPalmer93
Photo Credit: (Baseball Fam)