Boston Red Sox
2016 O/U Wins (Westgate):
2016 AL East Odds (Westgate):
Projected Starting Rotation:
David Price, Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, Joe Kelly
David Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Roenis Elias
Handicapper's Take: "Last to first is what the Red Sox will attempt to do in arguably the strongest division in baseball. David Price and Craig Kimbrel were two of the biggest signees of the offseason and immediately provide the team with an ace-level starter and closer. Newly appointed team president Dave Dombrowski also brought in stud reliever Carson Smith (DL to start the year) and lefty starter Roenis Elias who is a perfect fill-in arm for when one of the starting five struggles or get injured. The only key loss was Wade Miley (Seattle) who despite marginal stuff pitched a team-high 193 innings.
Price is expected to chew up Miley's innings at a far more productive rate. Also note that in 11 career starts, he owns a 1.95 ERA in Fenway. Beyond Price, there are some question marks. Clay Buchholz' last two full seasons (189 IP in 2012 and 170.1 IP in 2014) produced ERA's of 4.56 and 5.34. In 2013 and 2015 he missed time and was far more fresher as he churned out ERA's of 1.74 and 3.26. He'll turn 32 in August but if not injured or worn down is a solid compliment to Price. Eduardo Rodriguez is currently dealing with some arm issues (DL to start the year) though expects to be a fixture in the rotation. At only 22 years old, he already has no. 3 starter stuff. Things however get dicey with Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly. Porcello has had a ton of issues this spring, most notably getting smacked around. While he's only 27, he's already logged 1,245 career innings. Kelly has Nathan Eovaldi Sydrome: electric stuff and big velocity that tends to get hit hard. He showed promise following a mid-season demotion by posting a 3.77 ERA. If the Red Sox get 150 IP and a low 4.00 ERA out of Kelly, it'll be a huge boost. And as mentioned, should one of these guys falter, Elias and knuckleballer Steven Wright serve as above average replacements.
The every day lineup includes a mix of young talent (Bogaerts, Swihart, Betts, and Bradley) and aging veterans (Pedroia, Ramirez, Sandoval, and Ortiz). Word on the street is that the Red Sox may look to move Sandoval which would mean eliminating a defensive (and offensive) liability. Overall, the team grades out as above AL-average both offensive and defensively to start the year.
The offseason upgrades should have a significant impact and put this squad in the hunt for the AL East title. However, they'll need more out of the starting staff than just Price. Injuries are bound to occur to some of the vets but the roster has decent depth which is important because you can't withstand cluster injuries in such a deep and talented division."
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