Is It Time To Worry About The Boston Red Sox?
The Boston Red Sox have a roster full of all stars. They looked like a machine as they dismantled the Los Angeles Dodgers last October. Of course, expectations were high coming out of spring training this year. But the defending World Series champions are having a sluggish start to the 2019 season.
Should Red Sox nation start to worry? Nitrogen Sports Blog breaks down some of the issues in Boston right now.
World Series hangover
If the Red Sox want to be back-to-back World Series champions, they’ll have to turn things around quick. It looks like they have a long road ahead of them because only four teams have won the World Series after dropping 10 of their first 15 games.
As one of the top 10 favorites to win the World Series prior to Opening Day, it’s puzzling to see the Red Sox struggle just months after hosting a downtown parade in Boston.
The Sox need to pull a total 180 right now. They aren’t performing well in any aspect of the game. Offensively, the Sox have been stale. They are below the middle of the pack in most offensive stats.
2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts is far from his American League MVP form of last year. Boston desperately needs him to improve on his sub-.230 batting average. When he turns it on, the Red Sox will be much more dangerous.
The Red Sox fielding has also left much to be desired. Strong defense was on display for the Sox on their road to the World Series last year. But now they’re racking up errors at an alarming rate. As of Apr. 15, the Red Sox are 25th in the majors with just a .975 fielding percentage, per ESPN.
While the Sox haven’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that pitching is the biggest problem. Both the rotation and the bullpen have performed poorly in the early part of the season.
The team’s ERA has been constantly flirting with a 6.0 clip. Moreover, their starting rotation is among the worst in the majors this early in the season in terms of WAR, FIP, home runs allowed per nine innings, home runs surrendered, and opponents’ batting average.
Chris Sale’s velocity
Sale hasn’t been pitching like Chris Sale so far this season. It seems that the seven-time All-Star lefty has lost some velocity, having seen his fastball speed drop by 4 mph.
That partly explains why Sale has gone just 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in his first three starts. Sale just has not looked like his dominant self. Red Sox nation will need to keep their fingers crossed in hopes of the return of Sale’s 95 mph heater.
The Sox obviously have the talent to recover. Plus they are known to aggressively chase the trade pieces they need to win. Although they’ve looked bad, it would be foolish to count the Red Sox out.
It’s still too early to count the Red Sox out. Baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. At some point, some of the teams which are hot right now will regress. People familiar on how to bet on sports know better than to ignore a defending champion team that is experiencing a slow start.
That said, the Red Sox will also have to step it up and turn it around before it gets worse for them. Stay tuned for more baseball articles and MLB betting tips going forward.