Could the Boston Red Sox surprise the baseball world in 2023?
Boston finished in last place in the American League East in 2022 at 78-84 but will look completely different this upcoming season. The Red Sox may not have made the flashiest moves of all time, but MLB.com columnist Will Leitch recently pegged them as the 2022 last-place team with the second-best odds of jumping to first place in 2023,
“I do believe in the magic of Alex Cora,” Leitch said. “I would also say that it feels at a certain level that the way we’ve talked about the Boston Red Sox all offseason is that they’ve already lost 100 games. It kind of feels that way but if you were to put together an All-Star team from all of the teams that finished last place last year, about half of the players would be from the Boston Red Sox. This is still a really talented team. Obviously, there are some issues there. (Chris Sale)’ s injuries have been an issue, Trevor Story’s injury is very damaging and I dropped them down one, but this is still a talented team.
“They are in a tough division, obviously, but you don’t look at anyone in the east and feel like they have all of their questions answered. I think you can argue that the Astros are better than every team in the east. It’s hard to see a team running away with the division. A lot of the advanced metrics are higher on the Red Sox than I think the national conversation is. They’re in a tough division, but I still think there’s a lot of talent there. “
The Red Sox were joined by the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Colorado Rockies as last-place finishers in 2022. Leitch gave the Royals the best odds of completely flipping the script in 2023 but noted they are in a weaker division than Boston.
Boston’s odds of winning the AL East in 2023 may not be high but with all of the additions to the roster, there certainly is some upside. The Red Sox are full of players with high upsides but question marks, like Masataka Yoshida and Triston Casas. Both Yoshida and Casas have high expectations but both will be rookies in 2023.
Also, Boston has a wide range of players returning from injuries — namely Chris Sale and James Paxton — who could impress or could struggle after being away from the field for so long.
If some of these question marks go the Red Sox’s way, the team could surprise. But, if they don’t it may be another tough year in Boston.
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