If one thing is certain in this seasons AL East, it's that there will only be one entry into the postseason. Visions of any Wild Card playoff, barring any sort of miracle, will not be happening.
A division that no team wanted to take control of has found the New York Yankees making their bid. Led by a reborn Alex Rodriguez, the Bronx Bombers have won 7 of 10 and have opened up a 3.5 game lead on second place Tampa Bay.
If your the Boston Red Sox, winners of 10 of your last 15, you have reason to be optimistic. Seldom does a last place team at the All Star Break have hope, but at 6.5 games out of first, the, in my opinion, underachieving Sox have the talent and resources to make a legitimate run. Certainly things have to fall in place, health concerns have to be addressed, but a failure to get out of the AL East basement will not sit well with the front office. We'll see how that plays out in the weeks to come, but lets put a nightcap on a precarious first half.
As a team they rank well above average in all of MLB. Their 376 runs scored has them at 12th overall. They stand 8th with a team batting avg. of .257 while their OBP sits them at 9th. At dead center in all of baseball is their team .397 slugging pct. Individually, what Hanley Ramirez lacks in the field, he makes up for at the plate with his team leading 19 hrs. and 46 rbi. The real Xander Bogaerts has stood up to the tune of a team leading 96 hits as his future brightens. Lone Sox all star Brock Holt is arguably the teams MVP. One major key is the health of the teams heart and soul Dustin Pedroia, who looks as though he will carry his leading .306 ba into this weekends series with the Angels.
By far the Achilles heel of the team. The loss of Jon Lester to the Cubs left a huge void with the starters. It took awhile, and just
when we thought Clay Buchholz was the heir apparent, he injures his elbow in a critic, , teams are hitting .266 off themal game versus the Yankees this weekend past. It looks like at least a month, but historically he hasn't faired well coming back from injuries. If Boston is close come August 1st, the may have to make a big move. all you need are the following to know what the problems are. In all of MLB, their team era 4.44 ranks 28th, rank 18th in quality starts, teams are hitting .266 against them, 27th overall while their whip pits them 26th with a 1.35. Wade Miley has been a recent bright after transitioning from the NL. He leads the team with 8 wins. As for the rest, excluding the
previously mentioned Buchholz, leave a lot to be desired. Justin Masterson can hardly hit 90 on the rader gun, but has above average control, and Joe Kelly can top out at 99mph, and has very little control. The latter should be placed in middle relief is the Red Sox are in the hunt come September. Rick Porcello is the biggest enigma, to the tune of a 5-9 record and a horrible 5.90 era. If the starters can perform considerably better (can they be any worse), and with the solid tandem of Junichi Tazawa (14 holds) and closer Koji Uehara (22 saves) they have more than a punchers chance
John Farrell has had his moments during interleague play with pitching to certain batters, but all in all he hasn't done badly. Surely the team reflects it's manager for the most part, but is it too much to ask for a pitcher to give a team several innings every 5 days. Or maybe a hitter to get a clutch hit every so often.
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