Thursday, April 24, 2014

The difference between first place and last place in the AL East? One run.

The Yankees currently sit atop the American League East with a 12-9 record.  Boston is last at 10-12.  If the narrow 2.5 game margin across the division isn't enough to temper any early-season concerns you might have about the Red Sox, consider this:

Both Boston and New York have allowed exactly 92 runs so far (although the Sox have done it while playing one additional game), while the Yankees have scored just 85 times to the Red Sox's 84.

In a bizarre coincidence, every first place team in the AL to this point actually has a negative scoring differential:

Despite these non-discouraging numbers (you can't really call them encouraging), I'm honestly not expecting all that much out of Boston this year.  In 2012 everything went wrong and the Sox finished 69-93.  Last season everything went right and they won the World Series.  Chances are 2014 will be somewhere in between.  I don't think the starting pitching will be as good as it was a year ago (John Lackey and Clay Buchholz in particular), and the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff spot is already a glaring weakness.  I'm predicting a Red Sox win total in the low to mid-80s.

And for the record, I've though that since before the season began; check out this article I wrote for Yahoo Sports back in January: Have the Boston Red Sox Done Enough to Contend Again in 2014?

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