The Red Sox performance has been poor this year. Where they need to improve is against teams below .500 to get back into the win column.
The Boston Red Sox are off to a rough start to begin the 2019 season. Before tonight’s game with the Kansas City Royals, the Sox stand at 30-29, just a game above .500. At this time last year, they were 40-19, 11 games above .500. It’s safe to say that the season has been a disappointment thus far with the firepower the team carried over from last year.
The Red Sox aren’t just losing games overall. They are losing to teams that they should be beating, teams at or below .500.
Let’s take a look into the numbers. This season, the Sox are 30-29 (.508) overall and just 23-18 (.561) vs teams at or below .500. In the previous three seasons, they were 67-21 (a whopping .761), 66-46 (.589), and 40-25 (.615) against such teams.
To add onto that, the Sox are just 14-10 this season against teams below .400, a .583 winning percentage, which is terrible for this team with so much more in them.
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It’s pretty simple. Teams like the Red Sox should be beating teams below .500. The 2019 team is very similar to the 2018 team, a team that set franchise records all season, and one of the main reasons they were so good is because they killed teams at or below .500, as a good team should. 62% of their 108 wins came against these teams. They have to take teams like the Orioles and Blue Jays seriously when they come to play. It’s not an automatic win anymore.
In the AL, only 6 out of 15 teams are above .500, and only 5 are more than 2 games above .500. Most of the games that the Red Sox will play are against teams below this line. Already this year, about 70% of their games have come against teams at or below .500. The bottom line is that the team needs to win these games because in the end, wins against these teams make a difference in the standings.
We see in successful teams like the 2018, 2017 and 2016 Red Sox that the wins in this column are essential. Every one of those teams was almost at the .590 line, and the World Champion team at .761. Looking at teams this year, the Yankees are 26-12 against below .500 teams, a .615 winning percentage.
To be a successful team, you need to capitalize against the poorer opponents. The reality is, good baseball teams are going to lose to other good baseball teams. You’re gonna lose to the Yankees. You’re gonna lose to the Astros. But you can’t be getting beaten by the Orioles or the Blue Jays or the Tigers. That’s not what championship winning teams do. Alex Cora and the Red Sox need to step it up against their poorer opponents, and that starts tonight against the Kansas City Royals.