Red Sox offensive downturn in May is beyond worrisome when you dive deeper

Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

At the beginning of the 2024 season, the Boston Red Sox led or ranked near the top of MLB in some unexpected stats. The lowest team ERA and high home run totals were key to Boston's success.

Only one of those stats has held up a quarter of the way through the campaign. The Red Sox still own the league's lowest ERA and usually keep runs off the scoreboard, but they rarely score many themselves.

On April 19, Boston boasted the third-most home runs in the league, behind the Dodgers and Orioles. Since then, the Sox have plummeted down the homer leaderboard — they're tied with the Royals at 40 long balls, good for No. 18 in MLB.

Tyler O'Neill's early-season tear may have contributed to Boston's inflated homer numbers. Now that he's lost a bit of steam, their total has leveled out. The long-term injury to slugging first baseman Triston Casas also played a part in the homer drop-off.

Most of Boston's early home runs were solo shots and they've only hit 15 homers with runners on base. More recently, the Sox are getting on base, but struggling to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The Red Sox left 22 men on base during their two-game series with the Braves on May 7-8. They went 1-for-20 with runners in scoring position against Atlanta. They're 6-for-44 with runners in scoring position in their last five games.

Red Sox's multi-game offensive stall is costing them in the win column

Boston and the Mets are tied for the least runs in MLB since May 7 with 11 each. The Red Sox have done their fair share of striking out in recent games — 48 strikeouts in the last seven days — but they're not making the right kind of contact. They struck out eight times against the Rays on May 13 but only collected eight hits. Boston puts the ball in play, but rarely in the right places.

The Red Sox have lost seven of their last 10 games and they scored more than four runs in two of them — both of which were wins. If Boston loses to Tampa Bay on May 14, the Rays will overtake them in the American League East standings.

The Red Sox are feeling the lack of Casas and Masataka Yoshida in the lineup. They need to find a way to make better contact and at least capitalize when runners are on base, or we could be in for an historically bad month of production.

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