This Red Sox team can have you jumping for joy or making you want to throw your remote through the television. Either way, they provide something new for us every day.
As the season progresses, it’s starting to come to light that the Red Sox are really struggling against their American League East counterparts.
Through 54 games, the Red Sox are 13-13 against the AL East and 19-9 against every other division. But why is the AL East such a thorn in the Sox side this year?
The first thing you have to look at is familiarity. The Red Sox play each team in the AL East 19 times a year, so saying each team knows each other well would be an understatement.
When you play a team constantly you start to understand their every move. You know how their pitching rotation works, who throws certain pitches, and what each starters tendencies are. You start to comprehend a teams bullpen situation, who’s coming in at certain times and what each pitcher has to offer.
However, it’s not just understanding how a teams rotation works but understanding the ballpark each rival plays in is also a major factor.
When teams visit ballparks they are unfamiliar with sometimes players can’t adjust properly to perform to their best potential. Each park has different aspects which makes it unique and challenging to the opposition. When you look at the Red Sox, the rest of the AL East doesn’t seem to be phased anymore by playing in Fenway Park.
Years ago, teams feared the dimensions of Fenway, simply because of the Green Monster in left field. Players didn’t know how to play the wall properly, giving the advantage to Boston. As the years rolled forward, teams (especially the AL East) have adapted to the wall and can play it just as well at the Red Sox everyday left fielder.
Taking a look at this years AL East, the overall pitching staffs are nothing to gloat over. Each teams’ rotation contains at least one starter that your opponent may fear, but besides that there is nothing else that would scare a team away.
Holy crap the pitching in the AL East is a joke
— hammer down. (@nickjonesxlpx) May 15, 2016
I know the AL East is where pitching goes to die, but this is getting ridiculous.
— Wally, [CENSORED] Wally (@NotWallyGM) June 3, 2016
The Red Sox have David Price, whose track record is exceptional but ERA-wise hasn’t been the greatest this season. The Yankees have Masahiro Tanaka who in three seasons in New York holds a 28-13 record, a 3.09 career ERA and 336 strikeouts in 361.2 innings pitched.
Continuing, the Tampa Bay Rays have Chris Archer who has proved to be one of the best young pitchers the entire majors has to offer. The Toronto Blue Jays have Marcus Stroman, who in only three big league seasons has solidified his spot atop the Jays’ rotation. The Baltimore Orioles have Chris Tillman, whose on pace to make his second All-Star game and currently holds a 7-1 record with a 2.92 ERA.
After these aces, each rotation doesn’t have much to offer. But again, why are the Red Sox having so much trouble in the division?
There's no sugar-coating it: the Red Sox pitching staff as a whole is atrocious. The rotation and the bullpen need to be fixed very soon.
— Red Sox Nation (@REDSOXNATI0N) June 3, 2016
Each team in the AL East has the ability to put up points whenever they want and a bad Red Sox rotation only adds fuel into the fire. The Rays, Blue Jays, and Orioles all rank in the top five in the AL in total homers. Each of them also holding a team slugging average over .400.
The Red Sox hold a team ERA of 4.44, ranking last in the AL East and No. 12 in the AL. The staff has also let up 238 total runs, which puts the them as the only team with a winning record to be ranked in the bottom eight in that category.
So the simple answer to the question: a good offense will destroy a weak rotation.
Hot take: Red Sox pitching is almost as bad as the offense is good.
— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) June 3, 2016
If the Sox want to continue to compete for a postseason berth then the pitching has to improve drastically. Offensively, this team blows away the AL East and every other division, but pitching is another story.
I have no doubt the red sox will win the AL east but we can't win in the playoffs with this pitching staff. Look at their playoff experience
— Kristian Turner (@eastcoastsoxfan) May 23, 2016
Can they make it to October with the staff the way it is? Probably, because the AL East overall is weak in pitching. However, don’t bet on them making a deep run.