3 Red Sox predictions we wish we'd have made before the season began
The Boston Red Sox have gotten off to a better start than even the most optimistic fan could've imagined. The team is 22-17 despite some brutal starting pitching and is right in the thick of a playoff race.
It's unfortunate that the Sox are a part of what might be the best division of all time, but they'd be the third Wild Card team if the season ended today despite being in fourth in the division.
Plenty has gone right, and plenty has gone wrong. We expected the bullpen to be better with the additions of Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin, but we also expected the rotation to be a bit better than it has been as well. There are several predictions we wish we would've made before the season began. Here are three of them.
1) We wish we predicted that the Boston Red Sox bullpen would go from one of the worst to one of the best
Last season the Red Sox had one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball. Their 4.59 ERA ranked 26th in the league ahead of just the Royals, Reds, Pirates, and Rockies. The Red Sox could've easily been in postseason contention had the bullpen not been as disastrous as it was.
Chaim Bloom correctly looked to fix that issue in free agency, but I wasn't in love with what he did. I liked the Chris Martin deal a lot but was not a fan of the Kenley Jansen addition. Obviously, Kenley is a legendary closer, but he appeared to be on the downswing. His velocity was down, and his effectiveness was down as well.
The timing isn't great considering Jansen just blew a save, but prior to his recent outing against the Cardinals, the right-hander had allowed just one run in 11.2 innings of work, walking three and striking out 17. Jansen isn't the only one performing.
Chris Martin has a 1.64 ERA. John Schreiber remains reliable. Even Josh Winckowski has had a great year out of the bullpen. The 'pen still has it's rough spots (Ryan Brasier), but it's night and day compared to last season.
The Sox have a 3.69 bullpen ERA which is good for 11th in the league. This is despite the unit having to throw the sixth most innings since Boston gets mostly nothing out of their starting pitching. I wish I knew the bullpen would keep this team afloat.