Second Half - What To Expect
What can you expect in the second half of the season for the Red Sox?
Lightning?!?!? No. I just thought the picture was cool. Don’t think it was photoshopped but even if it is, still a good pic of Friendly Fenway (unless your tall, then the seats aren’t friendly).
The old phrase “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish“ is a great way to motivate players and give the fans some hope but it really means something for this Red Sox team. A team that came into the year with middling expectations from many and even lower than that from some (people associated with this site….).
The 2021 Red Sox started strong despite the “This is how the season is gonna go” three game stint against the Orioles to open the year. They held the lead in a +RD (plus Run Differential) division for almost the entirety of the first 91 games. For those that are interested, I don’t think I’ve seen someone use +RD before but four teams at the All-Star Break with a positive run differential, which I’ve already told you in a previous post is a good thing, and the Sox are at the top of that division.
They did have us in the first half Mr. Had Us In The First Half man. But will that be the bold sentiment at the end of the season when the Rays come out on top and the Red Sox lose quickly in the playoffs? If they even get to the playoffs?
I, for one, don’t think that will be the case. With the return of Chris Sale, the call up of an up and coming Jarren Duran and still the ability to make a deadline move, the Red Sox should squeeze out an AL East Division win and be a relatively tough out in the postseason.
Sale is going to be the true lynchpin for them on the bump. If he can win them a few games, get them into the 6th or 7th inning for a majority of his starts and keep the opponents at bay after he gets his feet under him, the rest of the rotation has got them to where they are now! They should be able to lean on a surprisingly reliable bullpen and overcome an unreliable defense to get them in and moving in the playoffs.
The bats should NOT be a question at this point. If you are looking at certain positions and questioning the output, that’s fine. Go crazy. I look at the collection. Even if there are three of four that carry the load and a few that don’t, the sum of the parts got them where they are now and should be able to keep it going. Top three in batting average, runs and RBI plus top ten in multiple categories, the formula is working.
-Look for the big three (Bogaerts, Devers and Martinez) to continue to carry the workload.
-I also EXPECT a trade deadline move. Consider a Nate Eovaldi/Ian Kinsler/Steve Pearce-esque move; one that can get them a little extra help likely in the starting rotation or even defensively. Look at the Marlins as serious trade partners. Maybe even the Twins. They both have pieces that they could part with.
-I‘m looking for a rotation guy currently on staff to make a turn for the better. Tough to lean on considering they are all .500 or better right now in the starting rotation but I’m going with Nock Pivetta. In his first couple years he struggled to close out the regular season and hasn’t had many opportunities for it in recent years so look for a turning off the tide here with Cora pulling the puppet strings. Pivetta is already having a good year. He closes out with a 6-2 kind of record, 13-6 overall, that’s a big win for this Red Sox team.
Ok. I’m on vacation. This took me two days to write on my phone. I’m amazed I finished.