It’s finally here people.
The baseball season is back. Hope is in the air. The hope of a division title. The hope of a World Series title.
For some fan bases, hope is all you got. But for Red Sox Nation, Boston is a true contender.
They key, like any team, is to stay healthy. Yes David Ortiz is gone, and David Price is starting on the disabled list, but this team has some insane talent.
Let’s start with pitching. Chris Sale brings something that Price doesn’t: attitude, fire, and passion. I’m not saying Price isn’t a good pitcher. The guy is a Cy Young winner, but Sale provides something different that the Red Sox need. Rick Porcello is coming off a Cy Young year. He’s comfortable now in Boston and I like him to keep it going. I actually expect Eduardo Rodriguez to take another step. He has to stay healthy. That’s been his issue, but if he does, he’ll be a solid number 4.
Back to Price. I’m worried about him. Not just the mind, but the elbow. Hopefully he can play this season and if he does I bet he wins his first playoff game as a starter in his career for the simple fact that the pressure decreases with the addition of Chris Sale.
Offensively, while this team is without Big Papi, it’s still loaded. Mookie Betts will contend for an MVP.
Pedroia, Xander, Hanley, Moreland, and JBJ will all be solid.
The two X-factors here will be Andrew Benintendi and Pablo Sandoval.
The rookie showed flashes of awesomeness last season, but let’s see what he can do in a full season.
And can Panda recover from a brutal start in Boston? If he does it’s huge. Plus he’s money in the post season. That’s where they’ll need him. And maybe Price too.