MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Boston Red Sox

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Boston Red Sox

2017 Record: (93-69) 1st in the AL East

Off Season Transactions:

Fired Manager John Ferrell and Hired Alex Cora

*J.D. Martinez* – It looks like Martinez is getting “fed up” with the negotiations with the Red Sox as they have been going on for months now. My guess is he doesn’t end up as a Red Sox anymore.

Projected Starting Rotation:

Chris Sale – The dude is absolute dynamite and one of the few elite pitchers in the game. From a DFS prospective there isn’t much to say here besides he is going to be worth his price tag 90% of his scheduled starts. Last year he only really struggled vs Tampa and Cleveland.

David Price – I think we can all say that Price has had his best days behind him. With that being said he is still a very solid starting pitcher for an MLB ball club. From a DFS prospective Price was never really someone I liked to roster because he rarely ever goes past 7 innings and wasn’t a huge strikeout guy. I also feel like his price is inflated sometimes because of the name.

Rick Porcello – After winning the Cy Young award in 2016 Porcello bounced back into the pitcher he was the previous year before the Cy Young award-winning season, actually worse. He isn’t a big strikeout guy with a 20% K percentage and hitters get the ball up in the air against him as well posting about a 40% Fly Ball rate. We’re going to have to see if he can round back into Cy Young form again or if he will be back to his standard.

Drew Pomeranz – I like him and I found myself rostering him a lot in cash games if I didn’t feel the need to pay up at pitcher that day. He is a very solid starter who rarely gets hit around and in the right matchups he has upside as he has a 10-strikeout game in him at times. For the most part though he will be a cash game pitcher rather than tournaments.

Steven Wright – Wright only started 5 games last year before a season ending knee injury, but that might have been a good thing for him. He was getting destroyed in April giving up 9 home runs in 24 innings pitched. We might want to consider stacking against this guy come this April.

Bullpen:

This is one of the top bullpens in the MLB with a lot of solid arms and anchored with Craig Kimbrel as their closer who is always solid.

Starting Lineup:

Mookie Betts (OF) – Mookie is a stud but he is also going to be very pricey this year. It’s hard with him because he gets priced up with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper on some slates which makes it difficult to roster him. However, he has huge upside games that can win you tournaments just like every other superstar does. He does it all, hits for average, power, drives in runs, and steals bases.

Dustin Pedroia (2B) – He has been with the Sox forever and is the same player. There isn’t a whole lot of upside with Pedroia anymore and I wouldn’t roster him outside of stacks.

Andrew Benintendi (OF) – I think this guy is going to have a breakout year. He got called up from the minors very quickly after being drafted out of Arkansas and was still able to produce at the major league level for the duration of an MLB season. Now with a year and a half under his belt I think he comes out hot. Keep an eye on his price early on this year because he might not be too expensive.

Xander Bogaerts (SS) – He is a really solid option for DFS on every slate because you rarely get a Shortstop that hits in the middle of the lineup who isn’t priced up a ton. It might be different this year but last year he was never really expensive. I like him a lot as an option on every slate for the ability to drive in runs and be in the center of a productive offense at a scarce position.

Hanley Ramirez (1B/OF) – Hanley had a pretty bad year last year but still has the ability to hit for power in a productive offense. I wouldn’t use him this year much outside of BOS stacks or in a prime matchup.

Mitch Moreland (1B) – He is a big power hitter who will flash upside in some massive games where this offense goes off but he is very hit or miss. The price is usually reasonable so I don’t mind him as an option in the right matchups.

Rafeal Devers (3B) – He came onto the MLB scene scorching hot when he got called up posting absurd numbers but then cooled down really fast. He should be the everyday 3rd baseman for the Sox this year and I am interested to see how he has progressed in the offseason. He has power and ability to produce high fantasy numbers on any given day.

Jackie Bradley (OF) – I probably rostered Bradley more than I should of last year because he is never really all that expensive and is a pretty good baseball player. The trap is that fantasy production and being a good baseball player doesn’t always correlate. He will be useful in the right spots and can be used in stacks and viable as a one off as long as the price is still cheap this year.

Christian Vasquez/Sandy Leon (C) – They both have huge games in them where they can hit a home run to pair with 6 RBI’s. I saw a lot of GPP winning lineups with these guys in them last year when the Red Sox would just go off. They are usually sitting around minimum price and are good options when punting at catcher.

Playing Field:

Fenway Park

Ballpark Factor Rating– 13th

Fenway is a pretty neutral ballpark when it comes to run production, however it ranks 26th out of 30 for home runs (90 home runs per 100 home runs hit in the average major league ballpark).

“Must Knows” of the Boston Red Sox going into 2018 MLB DFS:

In 20.2 innings pitched at Tampa Bay in Tropicana Field, Chris Sale gave up 8 Earned Runs allowing 4 home runs to be hit off of him. In one of those games he went 8 innings allowing 2 hits to pair with 13 strikeouts while the other two outings were 7 and 5.2 inning outings where he allowed 2 home runs in each of the games, however he also recorded 12 strikeouts and 9 strikeouts. When rostering Sale at Tampa know that there is high upside like always, however this is a rare situation where rostering Sale might be risky as well.