After a full month of baseball, the Boston Red Sox have easily been the most disappointing team in the MLB.
So far in 2019, the defending World Series Champions have been nothing short of terrible.
For most of April, Boston sat in last place, not only in the AL East, but in the entire American League.
Currently, the Red Sox are sitting in fourth place in their division at 14-17, and they’re nowhere to be found in the AL Wild Card standings.
The most shocking part about Boston’s horrendous play is, besides the loss of closer Craig Kimbrel, the team has almost the exact same roster it had in 2018 – and that team started the season 17-2.
Unlike the New York Yankees, who seems to have their entire team on the injured list, Boston can’t use that as an excuse.
So what seems to be the issue with the Red Sox?
It has to be their bullpen, which lost one of the best closers in baseball, right?
Their bullpen has been the one bright spot this season, as shocking as that might be.
While people like Ryan Braiser, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, and Marcus Walden may not be household names, they are all pitching extremely well and may be the only reason the Sox have a halfway decent record.
So let’s start with their stagnant offense.
The Red Sox have one of the most talented lineups in the entire league with players like Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Xander Bogaerts.
But they flat out just aren’t producing this year.
Betts, the reigning AL MVP, has not looked like himself at all this year. He is hitting under .300 and has only stolen one base all season.
Betts’ power numbers are decent, as he has smacked six home runs so far, but much more is expected out of the superstar.
Martinez, who finished top five in MVP voting last season, hasn’t been the same, either. Sure, he is hitting for a good average at .312, but he has just four home runs and only 15 RBIs. Considering he hammered over 40 homers last season and drove in a league-high 130 runs last year, four home runs thus far is a huge disappointment.
Benintendi hasn’t been good, either. Batting leadoff this season, he is hitting just .264 and has struck out in almost 30% of his at bats.
But the most concerning part of Boston’s struggle this season has to be the starting pitching.
It has been absolutely abysmal.
Not a single starter on the team has an ERA under 3.00 and nobody has more than two wins.
David Price has easily been the most impressive starter this year for Boston, and that’s not saying much -he has just one win and an ERA over 3.50.
But he has looked like Cy Young material compared to their ace, Chris Sale.
Sale, who will make $29 million in each of the next five seasons, has yet to win a game.
He is 0-5 with an ERA over 6.00.
This has to be a cause for concern for all Red Sox fans. Sale hasn’t looked even remotely the same since his big pay day this offseason. His velocity is down and his breaking ball isn’t nearly as sharp.
Sale was a huge reason why the Red Sox had so much success in 2018.
Without him pitching to his potential in 2019, Boston will struggle to even make the playoffs.
It’s a good thing Boston fans got to see the team win a title in 2018, because the Red Sox have no chance of winning the World Series this season.