Boston Red Sox lineup powering up


The league best offense of the Boston Red Sox is even more lethal now that they are starting to hit home runs.

The Boston Red Sox sit tied for first in the AL East, with the best run differential in the league. While they have received quality pitching from some unexpected sources, the staff has been fairly mediocre overall. The success of this team can be primarily attributed to the strength of their bats.

The 183 runs that the Red Sox have scored this season are by far the most in the American League. No other team has more than 160, a gap made even more impressive by the fact that three of the other teams in the top five have played at least one more game than the Red Sox have. Boston is averaging 5.5 runs per game, putting them on a pace that would eclipse what a Toronto Blue Jays offense that dominated the league a year ago accomplished.

If the Red Sox can keep up this pace they’ll flirt with the 900 runs scored mark, which hasn’t been topped since 2009, when the New York Yankees scored 915 runs on their way to winning the World Series.

What’s interesting about how the Red Sox started the season in April is that they led the league in runs scored for the month without relying on the long ball. Boston scored 126 runs last month, despite hitting a league-low 19 home runs. The did it by stringing together timely hits, many of which went for extra bases. Boston piled up an astounding 66 doubles and 9 triples in April to finish the month with 94 extra-base hits, which led the league by a comfortable margin.

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Once the calendar flipped to May, some of those double and triples started to leave the ballpark. Through the first 9 games this month, the Red Sox already have a league-high 18 home runs. That brings their season total up to 37, vaulting them from last place in the category all the way to sixth in the league within the span of about a week and a half.

David Ortiz leads the team in home runs with 9 this season, tied for third in the league, defying his age and leaving the rest of us baffled as to why he still wants to retire when he’s still capable of playing this well. After some slow starts in the power department, some of his teammates are finally starting to catch up.

There are six regulars in the Red Sox lineup that have hit at least four homers this season. That includes Hanley Ramirez, who crushed a mammoth shot into the light tower Tuesday night.

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Ramirez started out hot in April last year, swatting 10 home runs for the month before his season quickly began to crumble. This season he’s altered his approach at the plate to avoid falling into the trap of trying too hard to hit home runs, focusing instead of spraying the ball to all fields. He’s taking what pitchers are giving him. While that may not lead to the prolific home run pace that was teased by his scorching April in 2015, it’s made him a better overall hitter.

Whether or not they are smashing home runs, the Red Sox are finding ways to score this season. They can hit for average, they steal bases with elite proficiency, they pile up extra-base hits and this lineup is becoming even more dangerous now that they are hitting balls out of the park with more frequency.

The slow start in the power department may have been the result of the cold April weather in the Boston area. It’s not uncommon for bats to heat up when the weather does, so if the Red Sox are scoring runs at this pace now, just imagine what they’ll be capable of this summer.

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Red Sox fans are still waiting for the pitching staff to show more consistency, but as long as the lineup keeps scoring runs then this team is still going to be capable of winning enough games to stay in the race for the division title and a spot in the postseason.