Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sox, Despite Flaws, Will Capture Second AL Wild Card

Goodness knows your 2016 edition of The Carmine Hose have some issues. To start, two guys who are together pulling down almost $30 million this year (Pablo Sandoval, Rusney Castillo) are riding the pine to start the year. And, after David Price, the temporarily e-Rod-less rest of the rotation is—at best—league average. The newly-fortified bullpen has become a bit shaky due to the injury to Carson Smith. While Hanley Ramirez has been fine defensively at first base, there's a real question of whether he can sustain that focus through a long season. In spite of all these concerns, we project an 86-88 win campaign—which should (just barely) squeak them into the second AL Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays' sick line-up should propel them to another AL East crown, so it's slim pickings for the rest of the division. Boston should be at least a smidgen better than Tampa, Baltimore and The Evil Ones—so we've got a shot at the post-season. Don't expect a juggernaut, or a repeat of the 2013 Miracle. Be content with a talented, competitive and (mostly) young team. Hey, it beats last place.