Why Red Sox Can Win American League East (And World Series?) In 2022

These three areas should provide hope for Red Sox fans

by

April 7, 2022

The Red Sox are one of many teams considered to be fringe contenders for a playoff berth. But many oddsmakers are not high on Boston for the 2022 Major League Baseball season.

On DraftKings Sportsbook, the Red Sox are given the fourth-best odds to win the American League East, at +550.

Fans and bettors alike often look at Opening Day rosters to determine what is going to happen, a method that rarely proves fruitful. And while some evaluators already are taking the Red Sox out of contention, there is a 162-game season with many twists and turning points awaiting.

Here is why the Red Sox can win the AL East and possibly take home the World Series trophy.

The lineup stacks up against anyone
One aspect of the team that few analysts, if any, would question is the Red Sox’s offense. For Boston to make a serious run, it’s going to have to put up gaudy offensive numbers. The core of Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez can continue to be as good as they were last season, if not better.

Kiké Hernández will need to summon his postseason form for the majority of the regular season, and Trevor Story’s play will need to match Boston’s expectations for him. Bobby Dalbec playing more like his second-half self would be a massive advantage, as well.

The Red Sox lineup is the projected strength of the team and will have to produce like one of the best offenses in baseball.

The rotation is unproven, but has plenty of upside
Fans know what to expect from Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta, but the rest is somewhat up in the air.

Chris Sale will not return to the active roster for a while, but he will be coming off a freak injury that he should (knock on wood) be unlikely to reinjure and will be further removed from his Tommy John surgery. He provided a spark at the end of 2021 and could do the same for much longer in 2022. A healthy Sale, Eovaldi and Pivetta is a formidable rotation, especially with the run support expected.

The Red Sox will squeeze whatever is left from 42-year-old Rich Hill and try to get Michael Wacha back on track, but the attention will be on Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock.

This year will be Houck’s first full season in the rotation, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora likely will take the training wheels off the young right-handed pitcher. If Houck can be as dominant the third time through the order as his first two, he will vault himself into a front-line starting role. The development of his third pitch will be the key to watch.

Whitlock is set to remain in the bullpen, for now, but he is just as important to the rotation as anyone. His multi-inning role allows Cora to pull starters at the first sign of trouble, knowing he has a bridge to the back end of the bullpen in Whitlock. This process will mitigate the damage of bad starts and enhance the rotation’s overall effectiveness.

James Paxton also is expected to be ready to help at some point as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. The rotation does not have many eye-popping names, but it is one of the deeper units in the league.

The Red Sox organization is full of prospect talent ready to contribute or be used in trades
Boston has a plethora of talented prospects who are close to being ready to contribute in the majors. Players such as first baseman Triston Casas and outfielder Jarren Duran are not being factored into the equation enough by oddsmakers. Both players are on the brink of making the Red Sox roster and immediately could be impactful upon arriving in 2022.

The Sox also have a group of Triple-A pitchers with the potential to shore up the rotation or more likely the bullpen.

Equally impactful will be the rankings of these prospects, including those who are not close to cracking the 2022 big league roster. The Red Sox will have holes to fill as the MLB trade deadline approaches. The team’s growing farm system can be used to add pieces to upgrade as needed.

Thumbnail photo via Thomas Shea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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