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.