The Boston Red Sox, like their MLB London Series opponents, are well-known worldwide. While they aren’t quite the financial powerhouse of the Yankees, Boston are still one of the biggest fish in the ocean of world sport. Forbes estimate the Red Sox’s value to be 19th in the world, just behind the Chicago Bears and San Francisco Giants, and as the fifth-placed baseball team on the list.
This article gives some information on the Red Sox ahead of MLB London…
The franchise has existed since 1901. They were called the Boston Americans until 1907, when owner John Taylor switched the name to the Boston Red Sox because of their red stockings.
Boston enjoyed a golden era at the start of the 20th century, winning five World Series between 1903 and 1918. The sale of Babe Ruth on Boxing Day 1919 started the curse, however, which continued until they won their next World Series title in 2004.
Boston have been as successful as any team in baseball in the 21st century. The Red Sox have won four World Series since the turn of the century, led by modern legends such as David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox won their ninth World Series in 2018 after posting a sensational 108-54 regular season record.
Led by MVP Mookie Betts and the crucial new signing of J.D. Martinez, the Red Sox offence dominated baseball. They finished eight games ahead of the rival Yankees and needed just nine games to reach the World Series, beating the Yankees in four in the Division Series and the reigning champion Astros in five to secure the pennant.
The Dodgers, like Houston and New York, were no match for Boston as they cruised to another title. Steve Pearce starred with the bat and Chris Sale delivered on the mound in Game Five to close it out.
2019 season (so far)
The 2019 season started slowly for the Red Sox, as they won just nine of their first 26 games, which saw them fall well off the pace behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees in the American League East.
Sale had a difficult beginning to 2019, giving up runs and struggling with his velocity. The left-hander has recovered from that, however, as have Boston. The reigning champions have pulled themselves way above .500 and are well back in the race with the Rays and Yankees.
As they pursue their rivals in the East, each matchup becomes increasingly important. The MLB London Series is not just a major occasion for its location, but it could also have a major impact on the American League East and the 2019 MLB Playoffs.
It’s got to be the outfield. Martinez can be counted as an outfielder for this exercise, even though he’ll probably be the designated hitter in London.
Betts isn’t quite on the historic pace of last season, but he remains an elite defender and one of the best hitters in the game. Jackie Bradley Jr., after a slow start, is combining Gold Glove defence with top level hitting. Andrew Benintendi, a former top prospect, is more than solid on both sides of the ball.
The bullpen was a weakness in 2018, and then the Red Sox lost future Hall of Famer Craig Kimbrel in free agency. Particularly compared to the Yankees’ deep group of relievers, the Red Sox’s bullpen leaves plenty to be desired, and it’s an area they need to strengthen to stand a chance of defending their title.