Can the Red Sox bounce back after their blip and win the World Series this year?
The Boston Red Sox have endured a fairly inconsistent season so far but still more or less remain in control of their own destiny in the American League East. John Farrell’s men have won 42 of their 78 fixtures this season, a decent record considering how improved their division is. However, things are far from peachy in Boston right now. The Red Sox have lost seven of their last 10 matches, including four of the last five. While they have the capacity and potential to turn their current woes around, things need to change quickly...
As of June 30th, they are still in prime position to win the division and secure a place in the postseason. As we all know, the World Series is the ultimate goal for the Red Sox this season and it certainly isn’t out of reach. At the time of writing, Boston are priced at 9/1 with 32Red Canada to go on and win the World Series this season; a difficult but achievable aim. If nothing else, they will fancy their chances of ousting the American League and reaching the showpiece event but could struggle when they come up against the likes of the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals.
However, they are currently sitting five wins behind East leaders, the Baltimore Orioles. In fact, they recently went toe-to-toe in a three-match mini-series and the Orioles came out on top. Baltimore have won four of the last five fixtures between the two sides and Boston must focus on improving their form against the ‘bigger’ franchises if they are to achieve their aspirations. The Red Sox are widely regarded as one of the best and most famous Major League Baseball sides but all of that means nothing if the current crop of stars are underperforming – and right now, they well and truly are.
John Farrell has to change something. Boston are failing to inspire confidence right now and they can ill-afford to slip further behind the Orioles as they hunt down another World Series crown. Perhaps most worrying of all is the fact that the Red Sox were humiliated 4-0 in their last encounter against whipping boys of the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays. If Boston are serious about their title bid this year, they cannot slip up against the MLB’s lesser franchises. At the end of the day, you win some you lose some, but the Red Sox could do without shooting themselves in the foot in this manner.
As of June 30th, the Red Sox are priced at 7/4 with both 32Red and 888Sport to win the American League East, despite currently trailing by five victories. The Orioles aren’t exactly a supreme force in Major League Baseball but they are on a roll right now, having won eight of their last 10 matches. On current form, Baltimore look set to reach the playoffs at the very least but the Red Sox will be eager to deny them the divisional title. Boston last won the divisional crown in 2013 and went on to win the World Series that year. Farrell and co will be hoping for similar omens this time around.
If they are going to win the World Series, the likes of David Ortiz and Mookie Betts need to step up and inspire the rest of the squad. While both players have performed relatively well this year, the Red Sox need inspiration and leadership, and these guys are certainly capable of getting the best out of their team-mates. Prior to the beginning of the campaign, many believed that 40-year-old Ortiz could finish the season as one of the best players in MLB. It hasn’t panned out that way just yet, but the Red Sox star remains an integral part of the franchise. If they are going to succeed this year, Ortiz will be key.