Boston Red Sox 2021 Season Preview
After negotiations between players and owners, the MLB is set to play a 162 schedule starting on time at the end of March. The Red Sox find themselves with a lot to prove this season, but will they be able to recover after a sub-.500 season in 2020. This Boston Red Sox 2021 preview will answer that question.
Since their championship season in 2018, the Red Sox have not reached the playoffs. In fact, they look very different from 2018. In each of the last two seasons, they finished with records of 84-78 and 24-36.
The Red Sox hired Ron Roenicke as their manager before the 2020 season. Alex Cora (Manager 2018-19) was fired because of his connections with the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal. In 2020 Roenicke led the Red Sox to their first losing season since 2015, and only their fourth since 1998. Boston’s chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloomtried, tried to fill some gaps on the team this offseason by bringing in players like Adam Ottavino, Garret Richards, and Enrique Hernandez.
Potential Boston Red Sox Opening Day Lineup
- Alex Verdugo (CF – L)
- Xander Bogaerts (SS – R)
- Rafael Devers (3B – L)
- JD Martinez (DH – R)
- Christian Vazquez (C – R)
- Hunter Renfroe (RF – R)
- Franchy Cordero (LF – L)
- Bobby Dalbec (1B – R)
- Enrique Hernandez (2B – R)
Starting Pitcher Rotation:
- Nathan Eovaldi (RHP)
- Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP)
- Garrett Richards (LHP)
- Martin Perez (LHP)
- Nick Pivetta (RHP)
The bullpen: Matt Barnes (RHP), Adam Ottavino (RHP), Hirokazu Sawamura (RHP), Darwinzon Hernandez (LHP), Josh Taylor (LHP), Matt Andriese (RHP), Ryan Brasier (RHP), Garrett Whitlock (RHP), Austin Brice (RHP)
Alternative Fantasy Baseball – Boston Red Sox 2021 Preview – UNDER 80.5 WINS
This Boston Red Sox 2021 Preview looks into each part of the Red Sox’s 2021 team.
Nathon Eovaldi will top this year’s rotation. Eovaldi, who also missed a season due to Tommy John Surgery back in 2017, has played in Boston since 2018, and in his time there, he has an ERA of 4.5, a win-loss of 9-6, and a WHIP of 1.4.
Eduardo Rodriguez who finished sixth in Cy Young voting in 2019, did not play in 2020 after being diagnosed with myocarditis (inflammation in the heart). This may have been related to his contraction of COVID-19 earlier in 2020.
Garret Richards, the longtime Angel and then Padre, picked up some playoff experience in San Diego last year and hopes to reach the playoffs again. He also had Tommy John surgery which resulted in missing almost all of the 2019 season. He looks to continue his rebound off of the surgery this year.
If you thought four pitchers on one team to have Tommy John surgery was enough, you are wrong. Martin Perez had Tommy John surgery back in 2014 and missed parts of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. 2020 was his first year in Boston and he had a 4.5 era and a 3-5 record.
Boston’s only starter that has not undergone Tommy John surgery is Nick Pivetta. had an ERA of 1.8 in just 10 innings with the Red Sox in 2020.
Boston’s bullpen remains decent. Their offseason moves have strengthened the bullpen and hopefully for the Red Sox will not be an issue in 2021. Boston’s biggest issues lie on offense.
Back on the offense, the Red Sox core has not changed much from 2020, but it looks very different from their championship in 2018. They still have Devers, Bogaerts, and JD Martinez.
However, they are without Andrew Benintendi whom they traded to Kansas City in February.
In addition to losing Benintendi, Mookie Betts left the Red Sox in a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020. The last part of the Red Sox’s 2018 outfield trio, Jackey Bradley Jr., also left Boston this offseason when he signed a two-year, $24 million contract with Milwaukee.
The new outfielders, Alex Verdugo, Hunter Renfroe, and Franchy Cordero, in 2020 had respective batting averages of .308, .156, and .211. The Red Sox are relying on at least two of them to have good years and strengthen the lineup.
The Red Sox’s infield remains the strongest part of their team. Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers hold down the left side of the infield. They each have been on the Red Sox for several years and in 2020 had batting averages of .300 and .263 respectively. They also each had 11 homers in the shortened 2020 season. Their performance on the field is crucial to how far the Red Sox can go in 2021.
On the right side of the infield and at catcher are Enrique Hernandez, Bobby Dalbec, and Christian Vazquez. In 2020, Hernadez won the World Series with the Dodgers, Dalbec only played 23 games in his rookie season, and Vazquez batted .283 and had 7 home runs. Boston needs these players to play to at least the level they did last year if they want to make a playoff push.
The final part of the Red Sox lineup is the DH, JD Martinez. Since arriving in Boston in 2018, Martinez has hit 86 home runs, batted .301, and has 262 RBIs. Martinez has been consistent for the Red Sox and looks to continue his stability in 2021.
A Red Sox 2021 Preview would be incomplete without looking at the Red Sox’s division.
The American League East division is not very strong coming into 2021. The Rays have lost starting pitcher Blake Snell. The Baltimore Orioles finished 2020 with a 25-35 record and show few signs of improving. The Toronto Blue Jays may be able to make a run for the AL East title, but they are extremely young with little experience and lack starting pitchers. The Blue Jays also open the year, unable to play their home games in Toronto due to Canada’s COVID-19 policies.
The biggest threat in the AL East is the New York Yankees. The Yankees strengthened their starting pitchers this offseason. They also re-signed DJ LeMahieu. The most important thing for the Yankees is to keep their players healthy.
Since their last full season in 2019 (84-78), the Red Sox have a different manager, have lost their best outfielders, and have been caught up in a cheering scandal of their own. I do not believe that the Red Sox will finish the season with at least 81 wins.
Alternative Fantasy Baseball
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- Review a list of all MLB teams and their OVER / UNDER WIN Total Odds
- Select 10 OVER / UNDER WIN Total Props
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- Play in leagues of 8-12 MLB fans
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