Red Sox 2020 Prediction
The short 60-game season would, on paper, potentially help a team like the Red Sox who have a potent offense that can carry them for short stretches at a time while papering over the pitching issues. While those hot stretches may not add up to much over the course of a full 162-game season, they could make a bigger impact in 60 games. However, I would feel more confident in that if the team had last season’s rotation.
With the rotation and bullpen as currently constituted, the Red Sox look to be pretty bad in 2020. They’re still going to score a ton of runs with that offense, but they’re not going to be able to prevent their opponents from scoring a ton as well. As I’ve been saying all offseason, this team is perfectly built to lose a ton of 11-9 games.
The fact of the matter is that the rotation is going to be relying on two guys who have a history of injury and inconsistency to anchor it. They’ll be joined by two pitchers of marginal major league talent and an “opener” slot that is heavily reliant on talent in the bullpen.
The big problem with that is that the Red Sox bullpen has very, very little of that talent. I foresee a lot of 7-2 leads that become 10-7 deficits late in games because of the bullpen, and that’s not even taking into account how many big deficits the starters will put the team in.
Last year the joke was that the Sox needed every starter to go eight innings to minimize the bullpen’s exposure. This season, it won’t matter because the pitching staff is so bereft of talent it won’t even get to that point. I suppose it’s a good thing, then, that the team defense is so strong because with the pitchers they have, they’ll be chasing the ball all over the field.
I hope I’m wrong and that the Red Sox surprise us all, but my final prediction is that the only benefit the shortened season will have is that it will prevent the Red Sox from losing as many games as they would if they played all 162. A 25-35 record right sounds about right for this squad.