Red Sox: Five keys to a World Series championship in 2017
Where does thou find hitting?
The 2016 Red Sox were an offensive juggernaut with a relentless lineup and it is reflected in the overall team statistics for the American League. Boston led in virtually every category that signifies run production. The idea is to produce runs and Boston finished first with 878. On the road, they also led in run production with 401.
Digging deeper Boston led the league in hitting (.282), On-Base Percentage (.348), wOBA (.346), wRC+ (113), BABIP (.320) and slugging (.461). The road figures were lower, but still among the best of all teams on offensive road performance. If you love WAR the Red Sox topped the fWAR chart at 33.9.
Now a big part of that performance has evaporated into retirement. David Ortiz is gone and so are his league leading 127 RBI. That is a potential statistical road block, but there is a positive. The younger players may be up a notch on offense. Newcomer Mitch Moreland could get into the 80+ RBI mode.
One certain item to watch closely is Hanley Ramirez. Was the 30 home runs and 111 RBI a last hitting gasp before returning back to the mundane of the previous several years? There are always question marks and much of it is related to injuries. The unthinkable is a series of nagging injuries that limit production or a catastrophic one that takes a big offensive chunk out of the lineup.
The Red Sox will in all probability see a decrease in run production, but just how much could place pressure on the pitching staff. The call here is matching that road total from 2016 and tacking on 420 at home. In 2016 the run differential was 184+ for the best in the American League. Offense will provide enough.