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Since it looks like the Bruins and Celtics are intent on going 0-for-the-Garden in the playoffs, let’s talk Red Sox. What do you make of them so far? Chris Sale is as advertised, Pablo Sandoval can’t field, kind of a weird start all around. Is this encouraging that they’re 9-6 despite it all? – Mark P.
I’d say it’s pretty encouraging, Mark, considering David Price and Tyler Thornberg haven’t pitched, Noe Ramirez, Brian Johnson and Ben Taylor have, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts have as many homers as David Ortiz, and the team’s top five leaders in WAR so far look like this:
1. Sale, who is awesome.
2. Mitch Moreland, who has been a doubles machine.
3. Christian Vazquez, who is hitting .563 in five games.
4. Bradley, who has played four games and is currently on a rehab assignment.
5. Marco Hernandez, who didn’t even make the team out of spring training,
Not exactly the 2-through-5 you’d expect to see, huh?
The rotation behind Sale hasn’t been good, but that will probably change. Their lack of home-run power — they have just 7, last in the AL — will definitely change. I’ll bet you they finish top-3 in the league. Sandoval is struggling with his throwing, but he leads the team in homers and is tied with Andrew Benintendi in RBIs (10), so he hasn’t been totally useless. They need more from their most accomplished players, and they will get it. I’m sticking with the Orioles — who are tied with the Yankees, a game up on the Sox — to win the division. But this looks like a playoff team to me, even as strange as the start to the season has been.
What do you guys say? Does this look like a playoff team to you? I’ll see you in the comments.