Boston Red Sox Shortened MLB Season Pick, Odds and Prediction
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Boston Red Sox 2020 Shortened Season Preview
2020 MLB Season
Boston Red Sox: 31.5 Wins / World Series Title Odds: +4000 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Boston Red Sox don’t have quite such high expectations as usual in the 2020 MLB season.
Boston had a pretty flat 84-78 record in 2019, leaving the team in third place in the always-difficult American League East. It was the first time since 2015 that the Red Sox failed to capture the division, and a meek result after a World Series win in 2018. In the shortened 2020 season, Boston will attempt to muscle their way back into the playoffs and hopefully catch fire from there. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at Boston’s current status and break down their chances at hitting their projected win total this season.
The Red Sox had the misfortune of being in an AL East with the Yankees and a really great up-and-coming Rays team last season, and didn’t have much luck there. Boston would end up finishing just 5-14 versus New York and 7-12 versus Tampa Bay. Beyond that, the Red Sox weren’t great against proverbial punching bags like Baltimore (12-7) either. It was just a flat and disappointing 2019 campaign all around, and several guys across the roster simply had "down" years in the stats columns.
Boston will need to rely on a handful of younger cornerstone players in this shortened 2020 campaign, namely infielders Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Bogaerts clubbed 33 homers with 117 RBI and 190 hits last season and should pick up where he left off. As for Devers, he had 201 hits with 54 doubles and 32 home runs in 2019 and is primed for some major damage in 2020. That young Sox duo should help provide a stable roster base and an important clubhouse presence for years to come.
Mookie Betts is off in Los Angeles now, which is admittedly a strange sight. Boston should get some nice production in the outfield from Alex Verdugo however, and of course guys like Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley will help round out those numbers. The Red Sox also have a nice veteran outfield piece in Kevin Pillar, who should be able to slot in nicely for rest days during lineup shuffles.
The one major weakness the Red Sox seem to have is their starting rotation. Chris Sale is out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March, while David Price and Rick Porcello are no longer with the team. That leaves Eduardo Rodriguez as the likely No. 1 guy, then Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez. Collin McHugh will get in there at some point as well once he’s fully healed up from his elbow issues. There are some talented arms here, but the rotation is admittedly uninspiring on paper. And there are some major question marks.
Specifically when it comes to the starting rotation, Eovaldi is going to have to get himself turned around in 2020 if the Red Sox want to have a realistic shot at the playoffs. He was stellar in the 2018 postseason, but last year Eovaldi posted a 5.99 ERA with 72 hits over 67.2 innings of work. The good news is that Eovaldi is building some early buzz within team circles and it appears he’s looking like his old self during throwing workouts. So we'll see.
Pick: I’m going under here. I think .500 is about right for this abbreviated season in Boston, considering the team has a lot of pitching holes. The expanded rosters in 2020 will help the Sox fill the gaps to an extent, but being in a division with the Yankees and Rays again won’t help matters in the record column. I think Boston falls just shy here and finishes with around 30 wins.