3 ways the Red Sox can defy the odds in 2024

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
1 of 3

We will now be a baseball Mister Roarke and travel to Red Sox Fantasy Island. My Fellowship of The Miserable membership will be temporarily suspended, and Mr. Negativity will take a hiatus.

The consensus for the 2024 edition of the Local Nine is depressing, as fundamental issues were left unattended. Even that harbinger of spring — Truck Day — has been met with disdain.

BSI has developed a cottage industry based on the machinations of management, of which I plead guilty to joining. It is a cauldron of negativity that management deserves after making rash statements of going "full throttle," but going in reverse instead.

Looking to grasp a glimmer of hope for rescuing the fledging season, is there a pathway to success or respectability? What has to fall into place for this team to make the playoffs and go deep into October?

What has to happen would be a Red Sox version of "Miracle On Ice" to accomplish success in the American League East. We will now saddle up for a possible alternate history for 2024 with the avoidance of projections such as Fangraphs.

3 ways the Red Sox can defy the odds in 2024

Red Sox starting rotation will rack up 65 wins

Can you win with very good pitching? Looking back on the 2013 staff, the rotation and bullpen were among the best in the league. The team still won 97 games and a World Series. Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75), Felix Doubront (11-6, 4.32), Jon Lackey (10-13, 3.52), Ryan Dempster (8-9, 4.57), and an injured Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74) were the rotation.

In 2023, the rotation went 48-56, which is what one would expect from a last-place team. This wretched total will be tightened up by a considerable margin in 2024. A combination of new pitching coach Andrew Bailey and players picking up their game a notch should do the trick.

Ever the optimist in this best-case scenario, we will go with Brayan Bello duplicating his first half (6-5, 3.04) for the entire season. That is a pathway to 15+ wins. Tack on newcomer Lucas Giolio's 2019 season (14-9, 3.41) and another potential 15 wins.

Nick Pivetta is the 2024 version of Ryan Dempster. Can Pivetta return to his league-best 33 starts of 2022? We're betting on it, plus double-digit wins. The remaining pieces have an upside that we're going all in on, especially Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock.

Before we toss away my rose-colored glasses for this part, we fully expect Whitlock to turn back the clock two seasons and Houck to tame three pitches and match Pivetta.

If Boston can sign a Jordan Montgomery, risk Trevor Bauer, or trade for a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm, our trip to the Fantasy Island pitching department will be complete. This rotation can easily match 2013 and 2018 if all falls in place magically.