Photo Credit: The Boston Globe

Photo Credit: NESN

Alex Cora:
Off to a 19-6 start, new Red Sox manager Alex Cora has been pressing all the right buttons and calling all the correct shots. Watching the games, you can tell how Alex Cora has created an effect on this ball club. His loose, but straight business personality is rubbing off on the players, and sure, when you’re winning, what’s there to be upset about? One thing I’ve noticed is how he goes about keeping all of his players fresh. He has planned days off for guys like Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and J.D. Martinez. He does a good job at getting Mitch Moreland at-bats, and getting J.D. Martinez time in the outfield like the Sox said they were going to do when he signed his contract. Awful defense or not, Martinez is going to make up for that with the bat. The Red Sox have only made 6 errors all season, and 5 of them have come from Rafael Devers. That certainly looks bad on Devers, but Alex Cora preaches confidence in the 21-year old by stating how 5-time gold glove winner Adrian Beltre made a ton of errors in his first few seasons, and that there’s no doubt Devers will become elite at the hot corner. The communication, the trust, and the confidence Alex Cora is instilling in his team is one reason why the Sox have gotten off to a hot start. They know that they’re a good team. Show up, take care of business, then see where you find yourself at the end of the year. Alex Cora is preaching a process, and the Red Sox are conquering it.

Photo Credit: The Boston Globe

The Offense:
The bats have been phenomenal so far. The reason behind this hot start from the offense can be credited to a new approach Alex Cora has created amongst his hitters. In the past, we’ve seen a rather patient Red Sox offense. Taking the first pitch, taking 3-0, taking 2-0, working walks. Now, the plan for the hitters is to be aggressive. Mookie Betts is swinging at the first pitch and doing damage. He already has 3 lead-off home runs in 2018. Betts is currently hitting .341 with 8 home runs and 17 RBIs through only 25 games. Hanley Ramirez is back to being himself, hitting .314 so far on the year. Xander Bogaerts is driving the ball and racking up the doubles. J.D. Martinez isn’t even hot yet, and he’s hitting .315 with 5 home runs already. Rafael Devers is leading the team in RBIs, alongside with J.D. Martinez and also the team is missing the laser show, Dustin Pedroia. Everything is clicking and the home runs are there. The doubles are there, and the batting averages are there, leading all of baseball. This elite offense is legit, and there’s just a solid mix of all offensive categories up and down the lineup. The lineup has no question been a big part to the 19-6 start.

Photo Credit: NESN

The Pitching
The pitching has been great this far too. The two aces, Chris Sale and David Price have looked like themselves so far in 2018, but actually it’s neither one of them who has been the stand out this season. That guy has been Rick Porcello. When I say he’s pitching like the guy who won the AL Cy Young in 2016, I’m not exaggerating. Rick Porcello is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA, in 32.2 IP. Porcello’s two-seamer and sinker actually have movement on them again. His best pitch so far has been the change-up, we’re seeing him use it more and more when he gets two strikes on a batter. Oh yeah, the Red Sox also have Drew Pomeranz who won 17 games a year ago, and breakout candidate Eduardo Rodriguez has yet to find a groove. The Red Sox, as a staff, have a 2.90 earned run average, which is third in the MLB. The bullpen has been good too, but they recently just lost Joe Kelly to a 6 game suspension, so guys like Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree are going to have to step up in order to get the game to Craig Kimbrel. The bullpen should be fine, they have enough reliable arms down there to finish a game. Overall, the bullpen and the starters have lived up to their expectations in 2018, but without really an eighth inning guy, hopefully the dominance will continue.

2018 has been good to the Red Sox. They have a 4 game lead up on the division rival Yankees. They’re missing the heart and soul of the team in Dustin Pedroia who’s returning sometime in May, and they’re missing some quality guys on the pitching staff in Steven Wright and Tyler Thornburg, who are both returning. We think they’re good now, but can they get even better when those guys return? The Boston Red Sox have the best record in the MLB, let’s see how long they can keep it up.

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