Heather’s Hot Takes: The Red Sox Lead the AL

By Heather Nelson

It’s April 19, Patriot’s Day in Boston, and nearly three weeks into the baseball season. I’m not over-reacting, but THE RED SOX have the best record in the American League. 

You read that right.

And the Yankees… well, they’ve secured the worst record (so far) in the American League. 

So far, I’m impressed with the Red Sox. (Despite me still being angry about the whole Andrew Benintendi thing….)

Honestly, I didn’t think that the Red Sox would be remotely close to this position because of their offseason dealings. (Not to mention last season’s shortcomings.)  The team nearly dealt away every last one of their top players, which caused me to doubt that a fun season lay ahead. 

(I mean, first Mookie, then Benintendi, and then, JBJ? That’s the entire outfield right there. RIP to the good ol’ days.)

I haven’t quite “bonded” with the current roster, which is partially due to the fact that I haven’t been able to watch many games, yet. Still, it was easy in years past to admire many of the players — even the ones that I didn’t “know.” But here’s a couple of things working in the Red Sox favor.

Right now, JD Martinez leads the team in home runs (6), OBP (.439), runs (15), and hits (23). He’s second place with a batting average of .383 behind Xander Bogaerts, who is batting .386. This much I expected, as the two generally are reliable hitters. (Martinez didn’t produce great numbers in 2020 but did in his two previous seasons with the Red Sox.)

Nathan Eovaldi started off the 2021 season hot — he’s earned three wins so far and only taken one loss. Over 23.2 innings pitched, he’s allowed 8 earned runs and struck out 24 batters. He’s leading the Red Sox pitching staff with a 3.04 ERA. 

Eduardo Rodriguez isn’t far behind. He’s earned two wins so far with a 3.60 ERA. He’s only pitched 10 innings, so it’d be great to see him get a better start today (April 20). In his first start against the Orioles, he allowed three runs in a mere five innings pitched.  It wasn’t a terrible showing when considering he hadn’t pitched in 18 months. (And he fanned seven in that start.)

After finishing dead last in AL East and light years away from earning a playoff spot in 2020, I didn’t have high expectations for the Red Sox. (Although, can we really claim 2020 as a “real” season?)

I still have some things to sort out — like the fact that Benny is a ROYAL — but I’m feeling more confident about the season. Am I celebrating too early? Probably. 

Could the Red Sox be the 2021 World Series Champions? I wouldn’t go that far, but I won’t rule it out.

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