Nearly every expert predicted that the New York Yankees would dominate the AL East this season. While there is a 17-2 team from the AL East to start the season, that team isn't New York (the Yankees aren't even in second place in the division, let alone the best baseball team in New York right now). That honor would go to their heated rival, the Boston Red Sox.
It helps to have a stellar ace like Chris Sale (1.23 ERA, 0.95 WHIP), but it also helps if pitchers like Rick Porcello (1.40 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 4-0) and David Price (2.25 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) return to form. Boston's biggest plague last season was having starters like Porcello and Price pitching subpar. Now that the two pitchers are back on their game and Drew Pomeranz is back in the fold, the Red Sox are deadlier in the rotation.
What also helps the Red Sox is their newest addition J.D. Martinez. Sure, having a lineup with Mookie Betts (.382 BA, .765 SLG, 1.234 OPS, 14 RBI) is nice. But Martinez (.338 BA, .618 SLG, .983 OPS) adds a middle-of-the-order bat that gives the Red Sox some punch, something they also lacked last season. Throw in a young Rafael Devers (.297 BA, .861 OPS, 17 RBI) and the Red Sox have a fearsome lineup now.
Now can Boston catch the Major League record of 116 wins, held by both the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners? Keep in mind that both teams didn't go on to win the World Series. In fact, the Mariners fell short in the ALCS, losing to the Yankees. Still, both teams had speedy stars (the Cubs had Johnny Evers, while the Mariners had Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki) and electric pitching staffs. Yes, it is still April and it's too early to be making such proclamations. But the Red Sox also have a light schedule heading into late May: Until May 25th, they only have to play in three series against teams currently with a .500+ record. They also have only one road trip until that date rolls around (excluding their current West Coast swing). It's likely the Red Sox can chase--and catch--history with the way they're playing. The fruits of Dave Dombrowski's labor seem to be paying off in spades.
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