ESPN wasted no time in publishing its self-proclaimed “way-too-early” MLB power rankings for the 2019 season, and the order is raising some eyebrows.
The day after Boston clinched the 2018 World Series title, the Worldwide Leader slated the champions fourth — behind none other than the trio of opponents the Red Sox had just beaten en route to their championship. In response to a tweet sharing the top 10, reliever Ryan Brasier tweeted three eyeball emojis.
— Ryan Brasier (@ryanbrasier) October 29, 2018
“How does this make sense that there are three teams better than the Red Sox when they just beat these three exact teams by a lot,” a user wrote. “lol what?”
The positioning is puzzling, given that Boston defeated the Houston Astros (ranked No. 1), New York Yankees (No. 2), and Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 3) this postseason. ESPN senior writer David Schoenfield, who determined the rankings, still had positive remarks about the Sox:
“The Red Sox probably will be very good — just don’t expect them to win 108 games,” he wrote. “All the key parts are back except closer Craig Kimbrel, if they don’t re-sign him as a free agent (David Price can opt out but is unlikely to do so). You have to be worried about Chris Sale’s shoulder, but the in-their-prime core of Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi should ensure more exciting seasons in Beantown.”