Opening Day is just a week away now. Read to find out where the Red Sox stack up against the rest of the AL as the season begins.
Here’s How the Red Sox Measure Up Against the Rest of the American League
The Boston Red Sox will begin their 2022 campaign in the Bronx against their arch rival New York Yankees. Nathan Eovaldi will be towing the rubber for the Red Sox as he looks to earn an Opening Day win for Boston.
The Red Sox broke the seal on what had been a mostly quiet offseason by signing All-Star infielder Trevor Story to a six year, $140 million contract. Story will add to a Red Sox offense which is expected to be the engine of their team as there exist issues in the starting rotation and bullpen.
Red Sox vs. AL East
The Bo Sox are going to have their work cut out for them this season. The American League East is going to be even more of a dogfight this year than it was in 2021.
Most notably, the Toronto Blue Jays have made themselves World Series contenders by signing big names in third baseman Matt Chapman and starting pitchers Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios. The latter of the two starters was extended by Toronto as he was a 2021 trade deadline pickup.
It’s been a pretty quiet offseason for the Rays and Yankees other than a couple moves, but they’re right there as playoff contenders in the AL East.
The Red Sox success in the AL East this year is going to depend almost entirely on their ability to hang tough and win consistently against their three other division opponents who also expect to be competitive. It’s also critical that Boston beats up on the division’s weak link, the Baltimore Orioles, whose over/under wins total is a meager 62.5 for the 2022 regular season.
The loss of Chris Sale to start the season is a tough blow for the Red Sox, but similarly to the Yankees, the offense is the lifeblood of this team. It’s the unstoppable bats that brought Boston all the way to last year’s AL Pennant, a series they ultimately came up short in.
Boston’s pitching is their biggest chink in the armor, and this is an issue the front office allowed to get worse over the offseason. It puts the Red Sox in a spot where the lineup is going to have to carry the weight. It will have to consistently drive in runs in bunches in order to support a pitching staff which will mostly be a liability, at least until Sale returns to All-Star form.
Red Sox vs. AL at Large
While the bulk of Boston’s big, must-win games will come against the rest of the AL East this season, it’s important to take a look at where their biggest inter-division competition will come from.
The AL Central will feature a less competitive look than the East, but the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins both expect to be competitive; in addition to the Chicago White Sox who are expected to be the division leaders.
The AL West is going to be nearly as competitive as the East with the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners and even Texas Rangers expecting to be playoff contenders as they’ve all (save for Houston) bolstered their lineups and pitching staffs.
Everyone is taking the Astros to win the division, but keep an eye out for both the Mariners and Angels who have both made big offseason moves and are going to be right in the thick of the race for the AL West crown.
The Red Sox will be facing the Tigers, Twins, Angels and White Sox all within the first month of the season, so those out of division games will be just as important as the ones against the rest of the AL East early on.