The Red Sox have the best record in baseball at 75-33 (.694) and now have a 6 game lead over the Yankees in the American League East Division. Mookie Betts is battling Trout and Jose Ramirez for the MVP with J.D. Martinez right behind them. Chris Sale is approaching a sub two ERA this season putting him in the drivers seat of the CY Young voting.
The whole team is performing which lead me to make an article highlighting some of the top performers/craziest numbers.
J.D. Martinez is obviously talked about plenty, but his 44 home game on base streak is not. He saved the streak with a 9th inning walk last night.
Andrew Benintendi is having a phenomenal season and not getting nearly enough recognition. He was an All-Star snub who is hitting .296 with 14 HRs and 62 RBIs. His .379 OBP and .885 OPS rank 10th in the American League, and his 18 stolen bases is tied for 7th in the AL.
Xander Bogaerts is having a career year with a .275 AVG, 30 2Bs (5 shy of career high), 16 HRs (5 shy of career high, 6 more than last season), 64 RBIs, and an .852 OPS (career high .802) His above average defense should also be noted here.
Jackie Bradley Jr. Ill let this catch do the talking:
Blake Swihart was essentially a fan for the first few months of the season, but a Christian Vasquez injury has allowed Blake an opportunity to shine. While his numbers aren’t great this season, he has played 1st and even 3rd recently as well as filled the backup catcher role. Offensively he is on a 10 game hitting streak and just hit a 13th inning walk-off double last night.
Ian Kinsler was just traded to the Red Sox who is only hitting .239 but has 13 HRs, and an .859 OPS since May 28th. He has a higher WAR than all Red Sox except Betts, Benintendi, Martinez, and Bogaerts according to Chad Jennings. This could help the Sox sure up second base with a Gold Glover with some pop left in his bat.
Chris Sale is the leading CY Young candidate with a record of 11-4, 2.04 ERA and an MLB leading 207 Ks.
*Update he is now on the 10 day Disabled List for Shoulder Inflammation which is the worst thing to happen since I found out Stanton was moved to the Yankees. The Stanton move turned out to be great for the Red Sox since Mike Stanton is terrible now but I don’t see this news having much of an upside.
David Price balled last night going 8 IP with only 1 ER. He has dropped his ERA to 3.97 (21st in AL) which is much improved from his 4.42 ERA at the All-Star break. He is starting to play like a true number two starter behind Chris Sale.
Rick Porcello gives the Red Sox a chance to win every game he goes out there which is all a middle of the rotation starter should be trying to do. He is 13-4 with a 4.03 ERA. He will also have a shot at a sub four ERA next start.
Nathan Eovaldi looked very sharp in his Red Sox debut. He went 7 IP, allowed only 4 Hits and struck out 5. Hopefully he can keep going deep into ballgames during the Red Sox playoff push.
Drew Pomeranz sucks at baseball, does not give the Red Sox a chance to win majority of the time.
Eduardo Rodriguez is debatably the number two pitcher for the Red Sox with a 11-3 record and a 3.44 ERA. He came on strong this season before getting injured at the break. Luckily E-Rod was just cleared to ramp up his rehab program.
Brian Johnson is only 1-3 but has a 3.45 ERA through 60 IP and has given the Red Sox quality starts filling in for essentially any injury to starting staff. He will continue to do so with Sale’s injury this Thurday. Johnson has held this rotation together by replacing proven MLB talent with his consistently solid starts. He also has played a big role as a long reliever and gotten some important outs in the bullpen.
Matt Barnes is not getting the recognition he deserves much like Benintendi. Barnes has a 2.35 ERA with 71 Ks in 46 IP. That’s a phenomenal stat line for a guy that has been Kimbrel’s elite set-up guy this season.
Heath Hembree is a guy I struggle to compliment but deserves props as our get out of jams guy. Cora likes to use one guy as a RISP stopper, and right now it’s Hembree. Heath has a 3.65 ERA with 59 Ks in 44.1 IP.
Ryan Brasier is the guy that you forget the Red Sox have until NESN pans to him warming up in the bullpen. He’s an unproven 30-year-old that doesn’t give off the calming presence that Kimbrel does when he steps in. That said he has a 0.90 ERA in 10 IP and will see increased workload as he continues to prove himself.
Hector Velasquez is having a dominate season nobody is talking about. Could I interest you in a 7-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in 55 IP? Ill take it from a long reliever we claimed from the Mexican League for nothing last season.
There are some important players not highlighted here but this just about sums up the 2018 Boston Red Sox. This is a year of above-average role players getting it done beside MVP caliber players (Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez) and rising stars like Benny Biceps. The starting and relief pitching has been top tier as everyone seems to be playing to their potential this season. Feel free to give feedback in the comments.
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports