The Boston Red Sox lead all of MLB in runs scored and do not appear to be ready to slow up any time soon. Just how good is this offense?
The 2018 Boston Red Sox are, arguably, the best offense in the game. They lead MLB in runs scored with 502. That’s good for a 24 run lead on the second place Houston Astros and 37 ahead of the New York Yankees.
By R/G it’s 5.40, which again leads baseball. The Yankees, who were expected to lead the pack, are second at 5.17 and the Astros come in at 5.09. By virtually any measure, the Red Sox are way ahead of what anyone expected this season given their 2017 output. First in AVG, third in OBP, first in SLG and they come in at a staggering second in HR hit.
That’s staggering because they finished 27th in HR, 26th in SLG and 13th in OBP last season. The offense just wasn’t that good, despite scoring the 10th most runs in baseball. Their base running helped them to outperform their peripherals, but it could only do so much. And that lack of offense certainly hurt them in the playoffs, among other issues.
How did they address their offensive woes? They added one of the best hitters in the game in J.D. Martinez and brought in a new hitting coach in Tim Hyers. Hyers was part of the team of coaches that turned the Los Angeles Dodgers around from 2016 to 2017. They went from a league average team for R/G and HR, and a slightly below league average team for SLG and OBP to one of the better OBP and SLG teams and well above average in HR and R/G.
So what are the Red Sox on pace for?
For starters, a 34.8% increase in home runs. And obviously, the rate stats are all on pace to be at or near the top of the league. It’s a remarkable turnaround and is a great example of how the “Launch Angle Revolution” isn’t about increasing the launch angle. It’s about optimizing it. Martinez, for example, has lowered his average launch angle from 15.2 degrees to 9.2. The results put them in some fine company:
That’s two World Series champions, including last year’s, and that 2003 Red Sox team that many consider the best offensive team the organization has ever put on the field.
In short, while the 2017 Red Sox won a lot of games, there were questions about whether the offense was good enough to win in October. This year, there shouldn’t be. The team has other issues that need to be addressed, but adding a big bat isn’t one of them.
What do you think of the 2018 Red Sox lineup? Where would you rank them among the all-time great Red Sox offenses? Let us know in the comments!