By Scott Jarosz ’21
2018 has been a memorable year for America’s favorite pastime, and especially for Major League Baseball. Virtually every division in the National League is showing a tight race for the top spot. The Oakland Athletics continue to chase down the Houston Astros in the American League West as playoffs loom around the corner. There is one team, however, that has handily separated itself from the rest, and that team is the Boston Red Sox, who I predict will win the 2018 World Series.
Coming into the 2018 season with a brand-new manager, former MLB infielder Alex Cora, no one knew what to expect from the Red Sox. Cora had previously been a part of the Red Sox as a player from 2005-2008, and his only prior coaching experience was as a bench coach for the Houston Astros in 2017. Nonetheless, the Boston Red Sox offered Cora the position of manager after the Astros had just recently knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs in the 2017 ALDS, and Cora accepted the offer, which lasts through 2020.
Despite a lack of previous experience as manager, Cora took the helm in Boston with confidence, and it has showed. The Red Sox have racked up 100 wins this season for the first time since 1946, and are still the only team to have reached 107 wins this season. The Red Sox clinched a playoff berth back on Sept. 11 with a win over the Toronto Blue Jays. On Sept. 20, they clinched the AL East title by beating the New York Yankees 11-6. As if this was not enough to cap off an incredible regular season, the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 21 to tie the franchise win record of 105 wins, which was set back in 1912.
While capturing the division title and tying the franchise win record are great accomplishments, one question remains: do the Red Sox have what it takes to be successful in the playoffs and ultimately bring a World Series title back to Boston? The Red Sox have one of the most dangerous lineups in all of baseball, led by the league’s batting average leader Mookie Betts, RBI leader J.D. Martinez, as well as shortstop Xander Bogaerts and leftfielder Andrew Benintendi, who have both proven to be integral parts of Boston’s lineup. The Red Sox also have a dominant starting rotation featuring Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez. If the Red Sox continue to play as they have since opening day and the bullpen is able to hold off playoff opponents late in games, the Boston Red Sox will be the 2018 World Series Champions.