Everyone was wrong about the 2021 Red Sox and we have receipts
Numerous media outlets were dead wrong about the 2021 Red Sox
It’s always fun when an MLB team defies the odds, especially when it’s your favorite team. The 2021 Red Sox were not supposed to be particularly good, certainly not 92-wins good. Yet here they are with a chance at real October baseball, one year after falling flat on their faces.
Funny enough, our frenemies at Yanks Go Yard knew the Red Sox would be good enough to ‘annoy’ the Yankees this season and said they’d be a second-place team. Little did they know they’d be tied for runner-up right along with us, and we’d be battling each other in a Wild Card game.
I also said that the Red Sox would be good, fun to watch, above .500, and sniffing a Wild Card race, and there’s video evidence to prove it!
But outside of FanSided, almost no one was high on the 2021 Red Sox. How do we know this? We went back and looked at a ton of major media outlets’ preseason predictions.
Here are the receipts!
Sports Illustrated picked the Sox to finish 80-82, saying:
"“They may not have actively torn down any more this winter—but they sure didn’t start building back up.”"
The excellent offseason additions of Hunter Renfroe, Kiké Hernandez, and Garrett Whitlock – to name a few – would beg to differ.
NBC Sports had the Red Sox fourth in the division, predicting that they would win 79.5 games, while DraftKings had them just a tad higher at 80.5 wins for 2021, and TeamRankings.com had them going 80.2-81.8 with a 19.7% chance of making the playoffs.
ESPN polled 37 of their “leading baseball experts” and exactly zero of them gave the Red Sox a vote for the AL Wild Card. 30 of them voted that the Yankees would win the division. They projected the Red Sox to go 79-83, the Rays 86-76, and the Yankees 98-64. Then again, they also thought the Mets would win 91 games.
Baseball America also had the Red Sox fourth in the AL East. None of their writers picked the Sox to be the “biggest surprise” of 2021. Instead, this was Boston’s “best case scenario:”
"“They finish in third place and don’t come close to playoff contention, but at least return to a winning record.”"
They also picked Garrett Richards and Marwin Gonzalez as ‘key additions’ and listed Zack Godley as a ‘key loss.’ Godley pitched in two games for the Brewers and posted a 16.20 ERA, while Richards only became useful once the Sox moved him to the bullpen, and Gonzalez was released in August and returned to the Astros a few days later.
For Fox Sports, Ben Verlander considered the Red Sox contenders, saying they were one of several teams with a strong roster that could make a run but picked the Yankees to win the division. He also picked the Twins and Blue Jays as the AL Wild Card. He did say the Red Sox were “being slept on a little,” so credit to him for being one of the few that did.
Possibly the rudest Red Sox prediction came from The Ringer, whose Preseason Power Rankings put the Sox 18th in MLB. Even worse, they labeled this team “the most boring Red Sox group of the past 20 years.” There was absolutely zero chance the 2021 team would be more boring than its 2020 predecessor.
So, the Red Sox have defied the odds once again. They were in first place in the AL East from April-July, won 92 games, and finished tied for second in the division. Now, they head to their first Wild Card game in franchise history. Can they continue to prove the masses wrong?