Thursday, March 22, 2018

Can The Red Sox Slow Down The Yankees In 2018?

"Boston Red Sox: Opening Day 2005" by Mark Waitkus
This season should be an interesting one in the rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. While the Sox have had the upper hand in recent seasons, the Yankees appear to have made some moves that have them poised to climb back atop Boston for the foreseeable future. But, without a single game having been played yet, one has to wonder if the Red Sox can still find a way to neutralize the Yankees and find a way to beat them for the American League East crown. 

There is no denying that Major League Baseball teams around the country are worried about the Yankees after the team made a deal to bring in former Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Combining Stanton's power with the power of Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius makes the Yankees one of the most dangerous lineups in the recent history of the sport. And, with Stanton already saying that he is not scared of the pressures of New York, the team is confident that they are headed in the right direction. While all of that sounds great, it still needs to happen on the field for it to be worth any of the money that the Yankees have spent to put all of these offensive stars on the same team. Stanton could find that the pressures of being a star in New York are much worse than he anticipated, causing some issues with his game. It has certainly happened before in Yankees franchise history, where even players beloved by the fans and media have buckled under the immense pressure.

Giancarlo Stanton (Facebook)
With Boston, meanwhile, there is no pressure. They are the underdogs this season, while the Yankees spend their way to the top of the list of favorites to win the World Series. The Red Sox's position as outsiders does have one benefit; according to this review of CentreBet at ChampionBets, some bookmakers offer power bets with enhanced odds on certain events, making a punt on long odds less of a risky venture. Also, the Yankees are nearing a decade without a title. Who is to say that they will not falter again?

Pitching and depth are going to need to be the two areas where the Red Sox outshine the Yankees most if they want to figure out a way to win the American League East. The reason these two areas are so important is that the Yankees have spent so much to bolster their batting order that the Red Sox cannot catch up there, needing to focus on pitching instead. As far as the depth of the team is concerned, the battle for players to make it on the team as bench players has been great so far, an encouraging sign for the Sox.

The New York Yankees are the darlings of Major League Baseball this offseason due to their splashy acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton. But if the Red Sox can find a way to pitch at a high level against the Yankee sluggers and have enough depth to get through the inevitable injuries of a long baseball season, they just might have a chance to win the division after all.