Disappointment: Boston Red Sox
Heading into 2019, it seemed like the Red Sox had everything going for them. They were fresh off yet another World Series victory, which included being the best team in baseball from wire-to-wire. Boston also began the year with the fourth-highest odds of making the playoffs (90.6%).
While manager Alex Cora‘s club at least finished the season with a winning record (84-78), they just couldn’t overcome the early hole they dug themselves into with a slow start. Plus, the quick start and sustained excellence by the New York Yankees (and Tampa Bay Rays) made it tough to see any real progress in the American League East standings.
There were plenty of bright spots, although most of them came in the batter’s box. Among qualified hitters, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, and Rafael Devers all finished within the top 30 when looking at wRC+. Unfortunately, it was difficult to take advantage of this offensive surge when the pitching staff put together a team ERA of 4.71.
Instead of defending their title, the Red Sox will continue figuring out who will lead the baseball operations department after letting Dave Dombrowski go. And with a club that has a high payroll, this eventual new hire will need to thread the needle by making moves to keep Boston competitive while also setting them up for financial success and flexibility down the road.