Predicting the Red Sox 2021 Regular Season Record and AL East Placement

The Boston Red Sox will have to wait until Friday to open up their season, as their Opening Day game against Baltimore was postponed due to weather. In the mean time, let’s look at how the team looks alongside everyone else in the AL East.

AL East Finish: Fourth Place, 85-77

Are the Red Sox more talented than they were last year? Of course, it’s hard for them not to be better than they were in 2020 when they finished with the fourth-worst record in the league.

But are they better than the Yankees, Blue Jays, or Rays? No.

The Yankees are overwhelming favorites in the American League with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge hoping to be in the lineup for the entire season. They bolstered their rotation with the additions of Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon and will have another solid group of relievers.

Toronto was arguably the winners of the offseason in the AL, as they went out and signed George Springer and Marcus Semien to bolster a lineup that already features a slimmed-down Vladimir Guerrero Jr., young shortstop Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio.

Tampa Bay is coming off a year where they won the AL East and made it to the World Series before falling to the Dodgers, and they look to contend yet again in 2021. The Rays might be worse than they were last year due to the departures of Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, and that might make people want to count them out, but it seems like people count them out every year and they are playing in October.

So while the Red Sox made improvements–headlined by the additions of Kike Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Marwin Gonzalez–their pitching is still more of a concern than it will be for Toronto, New York, and Tampa Bay.

Chris Sale won’t be ready for a while; Nathan Eovaldi is starting Opening Day but he hasn’t been the same since 2018; Eduardo Rodriguez is starting the season on the IL; Garrett Richards can be great one night and then stink the next; and what can we really expect out of Nick Pivetta (who the Phillies gave up on at the 2020 Trade Deadline).

The Red Sox will be better in 2021 but don’t expect them to be in the race for the postseason in September.

(Photo: Chris O’Meara/AP)

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