After last year's disastrous performance, the only place for the Boston Red Sox to go in 2015 is up. 2014 saw the Sox hit rock bottom as they finished the season in dead last for the American League East Division.
The current season started with high hopes for the team after the folks from Fenway spent over a quarter-billion dollars to bolster the BoSox during the offseason. The desperately needed rebuilding brought new blood into the clubhouse with the signings of closer Koji Uehara, two-time All-Star Pablo "Kung-Fu Panda' Sandoval, and offensive powerhouse Hanley Ramirez.
But we all know that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and Sox fans are crossing their fingers that the infamous curse hasn't come back to haunt them. Ramirez took a bad hit against the wall during the first inning of the team's game against the Tampa Bay Rays and ended up leaving the field with a nasty shoulder sprain. The status of Ramirez remains up in the air and he hasn't been put on the disable list quite yet but Sports Illustrated is certain that the slugger will miss time over a shoulder he's already had to have surgery on—twice. He was signed in late 2014 on a four-year, $80-million contract.
Couple this with yet another shoulder injury to Rusney Castillo, who suffered his while playing for the triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. It hampered what should have been a hot start for the Cuban wunderkind. And then there's the hamstring injury that's put veteran Shane Victorino on the disabled list. As a result, the line-up that looked so strong before the start of the season looks like it's starting to fall apart before your eyes.
The string of MLB maladies has seen the odds for the Red Sox to win the title take a dip with the experts on Betfair, who cover a wide variety of sports and other activities here after the team began as a strong preseason favorite. As the site shows in its World Series predictions, it has become abundantly clear that the Boston Red Sox are no longer the safe bet they once were. That being said, they're not totally out of contention (as of my writing this).
All isn't lost for the BoSox yet. They still have the ever-reliable David Ortiz doing his thing while 22-year-old outfielder Mookie Betts is doing great stuff with a few homers for the season.
Even though Boston sits in last place right now for the AL East (again), there's obviously plenty of time to turn things around. If a few players can have some time to heal properly and the rest can stay healthy, there's a lot of potential for the Sox to get some great things done in 2015. The new available space on the roster has freed up playing time for Allen Craig and Mike Napoli, who ESPN said now have the chance to show what they're capable of. If either player can live up to his potential, there's a good chance for Boston to salvage something from the season.