How Does The AL East Look One Month In?

As the first month of the 2021 MLB campaign comes to a close, the American League East Division looks a lot different than many people expected. Coming as a very pleasant surprise, Boston currently sits in first place. The defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays sit at last. The Toronto Blue Jays are in second and the Baltimore Orioles are in third. The biggest shock so far is the New York Yankees being towards the bottom in fourth place.

Fifth Place: Tampa Bay Rays

2021 al east

Tampa Bay appears to be experiencing a World Series hangover, which is the term for a team who struggles the season following an appearance in the fall classic. The Rays’ bats have been silent so far, as they rank 23rd statistically from the plate. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, they have arguably the best pitching staff, both in the starting rotation and bullpen.

Fourth Place: New York Yankees

The Yankees’ struggles have been one of the biggest surprises from this season so far. With a lineup including Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, it is hard to believe that New York would be ranked 19th offensively in the MLB. Their pitching staff, which includes Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, and Aroldis Chapman, has been a lot more solid. The Yankees pitching staff is ranked fifth in the MLB.

Third Place: Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles have done a decent job of keeping pace with the division so far this season. They currently sit at about a .500 record, which is an improvement from the way the O’s have started the season in the past few years. Baltimore’s pitching staff is nothing too special, but they have been able to get the job done on a somewhat consistent basis so far in 2021. The Orioles have not found their groove yet offensively, but there is still a lot of baseball left to play.

Second Place: Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto appears to have finally gotten their franchise back on track. They have been one of the better offensive teams so far, being led by Vlad Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays have been throwing heat so far this season, with a team ERA of 3.47 and 214 strikeouts.

First Place: Boston Red Sox

AL East 2021

The most pleasant surprise of this season so far is the success acheived by our beloved Red Sox. Boston’s pitching has come a very long way from where it was last season. Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta have both been lights out from the mound, and it is starting to rub off on the rest of the staff. The Red Sox have been on fire from the plate, as they have recorded the most hits by any club so far this year. J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts have led the way offinsively, hitting .361, .292, and .333 respectively.

Is Boston In A Position To Make A Miracle Run?

The Red Sox have a fire in their eyes this season that we have not seen since 2018. These guys are playing great baseball and having a lot of fun doing it. The team chemistry is definently there, as well as the talent. A deep playoff run or even a World Series appearance is definently possible, but we do not want to get to far ahead of ourselves just yet.

Early Red Sox Success Gets Fans Excited

Our beloved Red Sox are nine games into the new campaign. Boston currently sits at a 6-3 record. They got swept by the Baltimore Orioles to kick off 2021, but they have won six games in a row since then. These victories includes sweeping the defending American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway, then traveling down to Baltimore and sweeping the Orioles. Boston travels out to Minneapolis next to take on the Twins. The Red Sox are currently sitting at the top of the American League East Division.

Red Sox success

Booming offensive production has led the Sox so far this season. They currently have the third-highest team batting average and the second-most runs scored. They also have the third-highest slugging percentage, and are tied for the third-most home runs hit so far this year. The man leading the way at the plate is J.D. Martinez. Martinez is currently hitting .472. He also has a slugging percentage of 1.083, tied for the most home runs with five, and has batted in 16 runs. Martinez has clearly contributed to Red Sox success.

One of the most impressive things about the start that the Red Sox have had is their ability to accomplish it without a very important piece of the rotation, Chris Sale. Sale has been Boston’s ace for four seasons now. He was placed on the Injured List during Spring Training. Eduardo Rodriguez, who was expected to step up and fill that role, has also had bad luck with injuries to start off this season. Boston’s leader on the mound so far this season has been Nick Pivetta. Pivetta has started two games so far this year, picking up a win in both. He has 11 total innings pitched, 11 strikeouts, and has only allowed four earned runs and one home run.

Red Sox Silence The Critics Early

Many people predicted the Red Sox to be in last place in the American League East Division all season. It is still early, but Boston is currently leading the way. The Red Sox definently have the offensive firepower to be a sleeper team this season, and the rotation will improve with the return of Sale and Rodriguez. This could be a very fun team to watch!

2021 Fenway Park Experience

For over a year, COVID-19 has turned life for everyone upside down. Luckily the situation has improved enough for fans to return to Major League Stadiums this season. All 30 clubs allowed fans in the ballpark on opening day. The Texas Rangers immediately allowed full capacity at games, while most teams are staying between 15 and 30 percent of their maximum capacity. On February 25th, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that stadiums could return to hosting fans at 12 percent capacity starting on March 25th. 4,500 fans will get a Fenway Park experience since that’s all the Red Sox will allow into the park for a game, at least for now.

2021 Fenway Park

Prior to entry on game day, all ticket holders have to take a health screening survey. Digital ticketing will also be used to minimize contact. Every fan over the age of two is required to wear a mask or face covering. The only bags that fans can bring into Fenway are bags that contain diapers or medical-related items. Fans can only eat or drink at their seat. One of the biggest changes to the Fenway Park experience is the gate-entry process. Five entry zones now divide Fenway Park. Fans have to enter through their designated zone determined by the location of their seat.

The Fenway Four:

  1. Social Distancing: Tickets are sold in pod-style seating. Additional line-mangement areas will be used at restrooms, shops, concession stands, and security checkpoints. Fenway will use buffer zones around bullpens and dugouts to close off access to player areas, which means no autographs will be allowed.

2. Proper Hygiene: Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Make sure to cover your coughs and sneezes, and be sure to use the sanitation stations around the ballpark.

3. Cleaning And Disinfecting: The Fenway staff will do a great job with keeping high-touch areas clean. Staff wash every seat with a high capacity hose after each game. There will be an increase in ventilation throghout the concourses and other indoor areas.

4. Medical Screening: In addition to the health screening survey fans take upon entry to Fenway, the main first-aid station will be equipped with fully operational testing capabilities.

The staff at Fenway Park has done a phenomenal job of preparing the ballpark to safely welcome fans back. We need to make sure we do our part by properly wearing our masks unless actively eating or drinking, fully adhere to social distancing guidelines, make sure we practice good hygiene, and comply with the health screening protocols. Together, we can safely return to cheering on our beloved Red Sox.

Rodriguez Named as 2021 Opening Day Starter

Red Sox Manager Alex Cora announced that Eduardo Rodriguez will be the 2021 Opening Day Starter. Cora announced the decision last Wednesday night after Boston beat Minnesota 9-1 in a Spring Training game earlier that day. Rodriguez pitched five innings in that game, only giving up two hits and one earned run. He also recored six strikeouts. With Rodriguez named Opening Day starter, Cora is signaling that E-Rod may be the Sox new ace.

2021 Opening Day Starter

Eduardo made his MLB debut on May 28, 2015. He has been a member of the Red Sox for his whole career. Rodriguez has put together a solid career so far with a 51-31 career and a career ERA of 4.03. He has also recorded 707 strikeouts and given up 313 earned runs with 247 allowed walks.

A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Rodriguez was born on April 7, 1993. Seeing him back on the mound this season is encouraging. Rodriguez had to take almost a year off after a heart condition called myocarditis sidelined him for the whole 2020 season. Seeing the left-handed pitcher make his return this spring has been a feel-good moment for all baseball fans, no matter what team they cheer for. Rodriguez said in an interview after his return “I really enjoyed being back out there. After the first couple of pitches, I realized that everything is all right.”

Rodriguez Named Opening Day Pitcher…and Team Leader?

Rodriguez will need to be a leader for this young Red Sox pitching staff. With Chris Sale expected to miss the beginning of the season due to injury, he is one of the more experienced starters for Boston. Pitching was the team’s biggest liability last season. Hopefully, Eduardo’s return will help strengthen the rest of the Red Sox rotation this year.

The Red Sox kick off the 2021 campaign on April 1st, hosting their division rival Baltimore Orioles. Rodriguez and the rest of the team will get to show what they can do against a team similar to them. Hopefully for Red Sox fans, Boston can do a better job of being competitive this season.

AL East 2021 Preview

Every year, the American League East stands as one of the most competitive divisions the the MLB. This year will be no exception. The defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays will be out for redemption and the perennial powerhouse New York Yankees have a talent-packed roster that is built to destroy. The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to have a breakout year after standing at the bottom of the division for the past few seasons. Boston desperately wants to get the bad taste of last season out of their mouth by having a solid 2021 campaign. Unfortunately for the Baltimore Orioles, it looks like they probably will be bringing up the back once again in the AL East 2021.

AL East

Fifth Place: Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore is not expected to be a threat this year due to a young, inexperienced roster. In 2020, Baltimore had a team ERA of 4.51 and a team batting average of .258. The combination of low offensive production and being non-efficient from the mound is a recipe for a lot of losses.

Fourth Place: Boston Res Sox

Boston was not impressive at all last season. They did a decent job at the plate, but the stumbling block for them was pitching. The team ERA last year was 5.58. Both the starting rotation and bullpen never could seem to find any momentum. Combine the inexperience with being plagued by injuries and you find yourself giving up a lot of runs.

Third Place: Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto did a decent job last season despite finishing eight games out of first place. Being led by stars like Vladimir Gurerro JR, Cavan Biggio, and Randal Grichuk, the Blue Jays did a great job at the plate. Hyun-Jin Ryu did a great job leading the starting rotation last season with an ERA of 2.69. 2021 may finally be the year for the team from the Great White North.

Second Place: Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay was fantastic in 2020. It was definently their pitching staff that led them to the World Series, with a team ERA of 3.56. The Rays struggled offensively, only hitting .262 as a team. The departure of Blake Snell will leave a huge void in the rotation. The World Series hangover may also have an effect on their performance in 2021.

First Place: New York Yankees

New York’s pitching staff was amazing last season. Gerrit Cole led the way with 7 wins, an ERA of 2.84, and 94 strikeouts. The Yankees also had no shortage of firepower from the plate, with a slugging percentage of .447 and 94 homeruns. All of the Yankees key pieces will be back in 2021, and they will be looking to redeem themselves afer last years divisional round loss.

Top Five Boston Red Sox Prospects

Every year, the Boston Red Sox’s farm system finds itself loaded with talent. This year is no different. Because there was no Minor League Baseball played in 2020, baseball fans are eager to see the return of the stars of tomorrow this season. Today we will discuss the top five rated prospects in the Red Sox organization in 2021.

5. Bryan Mata, RHP

Mata was born on May 3, 1999, in Maracay, Venezula. He was been part of the Red Sox organization since 2018. He was invited to the All-Star Futures game that season. Bryon made his Major League debut last season appearing in two games, recording three innings pitched and two strikeouts. He will start the 2021 season with the big league club.

4. Jarren Duran, OF

Duran was born on September 5, 1996, in Corona, CA. He was taken in the seventh round by the Red Sox in the 2018 MLB draft. Jarren will start off the 2021 season in Pawtucket. He is expected to get called up to Boston in the early part of the season.

3. Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B

Dalbec was born on June 29, 1995, in Seattle, WA. He was taken by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB draft. Bobby will start off the 2021 campaign in Boston. He is having a great start down in Florida, as he already has four homeruns.

2. Jeter Downs, SS/2B

Downs was born on July 27, 1998, in San Andres, Columbia. Jeter was originally taken by Cincinatti in the first round of the 2017 MLB draft. He will start the year out in Portland, but is expected to be in Boston by the end of the season. Downs has already been a part of two blockbuster trades: he was part of a package sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer. He was sent to the Red Sox as part of the Mookie Betts and David Price deal.

  1. Triston Casas, 1B

Casas was born on January 15, 2000, in Plantation, FL. He was drafted by Boston in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft. Triston will start out this season with the Greenville Drive, the High-A East affiliate of the Red Sox. He is not expected to arrive in Boston until 2022. Casas is the 44th ranked prospect in all of professional baseball.

The Top Five Boston Stars of Tomorrow

With an organization packed from top to bottom with talent and many exciting young players, the Red Sox future looks bright. Boston fans hope to see the team as an annual World Series contender again soon. The American League East Division is always one of the toughest in the game, but the Red Sox will be back at the top soon.