The Red Sox finish third in the division and fall short of the ALCS
You have to be realistic about your team. The easy thing to do would be to predict the Red Sox to win the World Series because that’s what we all want to see. At a certain point, though, you need to face the facts, and the truth is that the Red Sox are a flawed team that isn’t good enough to win the World Series.
As I’ve said all offseason, the Red Sox needed to upgrade their rotation and their bullpen to have a chance of winning their division, and they’ve failed to do both. The additions Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, and James Paxton fail to move the needle, and they are somehow still going into the season with Matt Barnes as the closer despite Kenley Jansen being right there for the taking. They were able to bring in Trevor Story, but unless he can pitch, the Red Sox are going to have a lot of trouble preventing runs.
Then there is the issue of their competition. I see the Red Sox as the fourth most talented team in their division. The Blue Jays are an absolute juggernaut, the Rays are always competitive, and the Yankees have a far superior bullpen. It’s likely that one of those teams underperforms and finishes behind the Red Sox, but to expect the BoSox to finish ahead of all three is unrealistic.
All of this is not to say that the Red Sox aren’t going to be competitive in 2022. There’s too much talent on this roster for them to fall out of the playoff race, especially if Sale and Paxton provide a boost on the midseason return. This is a playoff team, but with questions marks up and down the pitching staff and the strength of the rest of the American League, a return to the ALCS seems unlikely.