After a disastrous 2020 season where Red Sox starters finished the season with a 5.34 ERA, the rotation has stepped up in a huge way. This season, the rotation has improved its ERA to 4.03, over a full run better. Whereas 16 guys made a start for Boston last season, the team has not had to experiment with different starters and has basically used five guys throughout the season. While the starting rotation is far from perfect, it’s refreshing to have starting pitchers who give the team a chance to win every game. Let’s take a look at how each starter has fared so far this season.
His last few starts have been bad, but having E-Rod back has been big for this team. The rotation was a mess last year without him and Chris Sale. Nobody expected him to be an ace, but Rodriguez is capable of improving on his 4.70 ERA. With an FIP of 3.29, he may be a victim of bad luck and could see improvement later in the season.
Expectations weren’t huge for Richards coming into the season and many were ready to cut him after a terrible first start of the season. It wasn’t until his 10-strikeout game against the Mets that Richards was able to prove his value. Once Chris Sale returns don’t be surprised to see Richards take on a role in the struggling bullpen.
Pivetta is the biggest surprise on this team and has a case to be the team’s best pitcher. The Red Sox are 8-1 in games he’s started and he is currently 5-0 on the year. He leads the team in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.4 and has the second best ERA with 3.59.
Perez has also improved greatly from last season. Despite having an ERA of 4.50 last season, the Red Sox re-signed him to fill out the end of the rotation for 2021. Perez has rewarded Boston with improving his ERA by about one run, currently sitting at 3.55.
Ironically, the guy tabbed to be the ace of team is one of two starters with an ERA over 4.00. Despite the high ERA, Eovaldi leads the rotation in strikeouts and has been fairly consistent all year. He has been great keeping the ball in the ballpark, giving up only one home run to this point in the season.
This is far from a great starting rotation, but it is good enough for the team to be competitive. With an above average offense, the Red Sox just need their starters to keep the game close for 5-6 innings. This the return of Chris Sale and potentially Tanner Houck on the horizon, the rotation will only get better for the second half of the season.