We are one week away from the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. For teams like the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees, that means getting back into the playoffs. As for the Red Sox, they are not looking like postseason contenders, even with a shorter season. How will the Red Sox fair in 2020? Well, right now, the World Series odds for the 2020 Red Sox are actually worse than what they were back in March. This past offseason saw some big names leave the Red Sox organization, with Rick Porcello signing with the New York Mets, and Mookie Betts and David Price were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The rival New York Yankees on the other hand, signed the biggest fish in the free agency pond in Gerrit Cole.
During the offseason, the Red Sox had to rework their system. With the firing of Dave Dombrowski in September, they needed a new President of Baseball Operations. Near the end of October, the Red Sox got their guy in Chaim Bloom. Prior to joining Boston, Bloom was the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Tampa Bay Rays. Now the Chief Baseball Officer for the Red Sox, Bloom was tasked with trying to get the Red Sox back into the postseason. From trading catcher Sandy Leon, to signing infielder Jose Peraza and pitcher Martin Perez, fans were left scratching their heads. Key players like Rick Porcello and Brock Holt signed with new teams, and the Red Sox did not look the same prior to Spring Training.
How the Red Sox Fair in 2020 Is a Matter of Chance
In January of 2020, the Red Sox were hit by the Houston Astros cheating scandal, when former manager Alex Cora was named in the report in regards to Houston’s involvement in cheating during the 2017 season. Cora was the bench coach for Houston at the time, and was one of the main people who was involved in the scandal. This lead to Cora resigning from the Red Sox, and left a hole in the manager position with less than a month before Spring Training. Between finding a new manager, and trading Mookie Betts and David Price, the Red Sox seem to be in rebuilding mode.
While the rest of the American League East has fallen silent, the New York Yankees keep looking for ways to improve. They brought back veteran outfielder Brett Gardner with a one year contract, and signed Gerrit Cole to a massive nine year, $324 million dollar contract. This contract is the richest contract that has ever been given to a Major League Baseball player. Cole finished the 2019 season 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts. While he didn’t get a ring with the Houston Astros, he did pretty well in the 2019 season. The new ace of the Yankees is looking to improve upon his 2019 season in 2020. While the Yankees are down one starting pitcher with Luis Severino out with Tommy John surgery, they still have plenty of weapons in their arsenal.
The Difference Between the Red Sox and the Yankees
With Rick Porcello signing with the New York Mets, David Price being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chris Sale having Tommy John surgery in April, the Red Sox only have three reliable starters in Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez and Martin Perez. Granted, the Red Sox did sign starting pitcher Collin McHugh before COVID-19 shut down the season. However, manager Ron Roenicke stated that McHugh might not be ready for the start of the season. The Yankees on the other hand, have a full five man rotation, plus a few relievers that can start at a moment’s notice. Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox have been scrambling to try and find a few good starting pitchers for the Red Sox, but as of now, there is currently an audition in Boston to see who will be starting this season. While the Red Sox do have a solid starting lineup with JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, pitching, whether it’s from the starting rotation or the bullpen, is what is going to be important in this short season.
For the Yankees, they too have a solid starting lineup with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit. Over the past few seasons, the big three of the New York Yankees have been a force in their lineup. Catcher Gary Sanchez has been a force in the Yankees lineup since he came onto the scene in 2015. Last season, despite committing fifteen errors as a catcher, he was named the American League All Star for the second time. Sanchez also hit 34 homeruns with 77 RBI’s. His career fielding percentage is .988% in his four seasons so far with the Yankees. Aaron Judge is the big name around the Big Apple, and last season kept crushing it both defensively and offensively. The 2017 American League Rookie of the Year won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019, as well as hit his 100th career home run. In total, he hit .272 with 27 homeruns and 62 RBI’s in the 2019 campaign. Luke Voit, unlike Sanchez and Judge, didn’t start his career with the Yankees. The Yankees acquired him from the St Louis Cardinals prior to the 2018 trade deadline. In 157 games with the Yankees as a first baseman, Voit has 35 homeruns and 95 RBI’s, and he only keeps getting better and better each time he steps up to the plate.
A few things have been keeping the Yankees apart from the Red Sox over the past few years. The Red Sox have won two World Series Championships since 2010, but the Yankees haven’t won since 2009. The first thing is the Yankees keep looking for ways to improve. The signing of Gerrit Cole this past offseason, as well as the signings of DJ LeMahieu, J.A. Happ, and James Paxton prior to the 2019 season are proof that the Yankees want to add championship number 28 to their circle. In a way, the Yankees keep looking for that new puzzle piece, whereas the Red Sox keep looking to rebuild after winning a championship.
How Will The Red Sox Fair in 2020?
Will the Red Sox do well in the short 2020 season? Only time can tell that. Right now, it’s not looking good for the nine time World Series Champions. With the schedule being mainly the American and National League East teams, it will be an uphill challenge for the Red Sox, especially with the reigning World Series Champion Washington Nationals in their schedule. The Yankees on the other hand, are out to win. After losing to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship series last postseason, many on the Yankees are looking to climb over that hurdle and make it into the 2020 World Series. Bringing in Cole to their rotation, and having a healthy lineup and bullpen is what will set them apart from the rest of the teams in the American League East. Many might say to not count the Red Sox out of the race, however, statistics don’t lie, and as of right now, the Red Sox have a mountain to climb.