The Red Sox will: A) Win the AL East; B) Be a Wild Card team; or C) Miss the postseason
Rick: Wild Card for me, but an easy ride into the World Series. Playoffs mean a condensed rotation and that bulks up the bullpen. This rotation – despite my Eovaldi concern – is top notch.
Josh: I’m predicting that the Red Sox will once again win the AL East. The Yankees improved this offseason, but not to the point that they should be considered preseason favorites. The Red Sox did lose Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly but otherwise, are more or less identical to the team that won 108 games last year. They probably won’t reach that total again. but 95-97 wins should be attainable.
Brendan: Win the AL East. Many people say the Yankees are out for revenge but I just can’t bring myself to believe that their starting rotation will hold up for a deep playoff run. Severino is already on the rocks health-wise, while Tanaka and Sabathia aren’t getting any younger. I think the Red Sox are built to win, top to bottom.
Patrick: The Red Sox will win the AL East, but not by 8 games and not with 108 wins like last season. The division will be a dogfight right to the end but the Red Sox are still the team to beat. Pecota projects the Red Sox for just 90 wins but it is unlikely that regression and the loss of Kimbrel and Kelly will account for an 18-win difference. The Yankees have certainly retooled with Paxton, Ottavino, LeMahieu, and Tulowitzki, but it will not be enough to bridge the gap.
Rudi: I think this pretty much unchanged Red Sox roster has what it takes to win the division yet again. With the Yankees and a great Rays team, this is certainly one of the harder divisions to clinch. But I’m confident that Cora and this squad of players can win another title and make a run at defending their championship.
Hunter: It’s hard to bet against a team that dominated so much like the Red Sox did last season. People will point to their bullpen being a weakness as to why the New York Yankees will win the division. Boston’s starting rotation is lightyears ahead of New York’s though – so that’s a wash. Give me the Red Sox to take the division.
Evan: It’s interesting that nearly all of our writers think the Red Sox will win the division, while many of the so-called “experts” think they will either make the wild card or miss the playoffs altogether. Are we just falsely optimistic fans? Or are the experts wrong again, just like they were at the beginning of last season? I’m going to side with my colleagues and go with the latter. The Red Sox lost bullpen help, but Bobby Poyner and others seem primed to become the next Ryan Brasier. Other than that, their team is exactly the same and former AL MVP and clubhouse leader Dustin Pedroia will be back on the field soon enough. The Yankees may have improved, but they already have been beset with injuries to many of their key players. It won’t be easy, but I’m picking the Sox to wear the division crown for the fourth year in a row.
Brian: The Red Sox will win the AL East for a fourth consecutive year. I think they get past the Divisional Series but fall in a close 7 game series against the Astros in the ALCS.