Coming off of one of the most successful seasons in franchise history, the Boston Red Sox have been a huge disappointment for the bulk of 2019.
They came out of the gates awfully slow, and dug themselves into a hole early in the year that they might not be able to get out of. With that said, the postseason is not completely out of the picture just yet. They are five games out of the second wild card spot and have been playing much better as of late.
Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts are really the only reason why the Sox still stand a chance at making a run. From day one up until now they have been red hot and atop the league in just about every statistic. Devers is currently batting .326 with 28 home runs and 104 RBI, while Bogaerts comes in at .311 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI. If it was not for Mike Trout, one of these two would undoubtedly be winning MVP this year.
Perhaps the biggest reason why Boston has been better as of late has a lot to do with the improved play from J.D. Martinez. He has been solid all year long, but in the last month or so he has looked like the same guy he was in 2018. He now has 32 home runs and 87 RBI, to go along with his .314 average. Between him, Devers and Bogaerts, the Red Sox could finish the season with three guys batting .300+ with 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI. Although that is absolutely possible, they better hope those numbers are enough to sneak them into the playoffs. To watch three guys produce at the plate like that and then not even make the postseason would be an embarrassment for the team.
With a lineup that is still top five in the MLB, the blame for this great underachievement of a season cannot be given to the hitting. The pitching, both the starters and the bullpen, has been subpar; sometimes even flat out bad. The Red Sox have 23 blown saves on the year. If they could have just saved about 10–13 of those games, the Red Sox would have a comfortable lead in the wild card, and would still be in the race for winning the division. The lack of bullpen help literally has a chance to prevent the Red Sox from defending their title. As for the starting pitching, the rotation really just has not been healthy. Nathan Eovaldi was on the IL from April until the middle of the summer, and has not even returned back to full form. Chris Sale has now been shut down for the season, although he thankfully avoided Tommy John surgery. David Price is supposedly coming off of the IL soon, but has been battling minor injuries throughout the year as well.
If the Red Sox could string together a decent winning streak, something like 7–10 games, they would find themselves right there in the mix. Winning each series that they play two games to one is simply not enough to make up for the five games back that they are. If the pitching can figure it out, there is still some hope for the 2019 Red Sox.