The new and possibly improved Boston Red Sox lineup might actually be able to keep them in the playoff chase.
The Boston Red Sox had an interesting trade deadline. They added. They subtracted. They built a different lineup with some familiar and unexpected faces.
Now catching for the Red Sox, Reese McGuire. Tommy Pham will be playing a lot of outfield for them. At first base, there’s Eric Hosmer.
Moves like these feel much akin to what a buyer might do. The Red Sox were expected to sell but instead created a new lineup that might actually be able to provide them with a late-season surge to the postseason.
New Red Sox lineup might be better than what they had before the trade deadline
Jackie Bradley Jr. is no longer with the team and perhaps they do get Trevor Story back into the lineup sooner rather than later. The changes Boston made over the last week were significant. Can it result in the team actually earning a wild card spot?
No team in MLB has had as much of a rollercoaster as this one. By the end of April, contenders were already licking their chops at the idea of trading for some of their best players. Only a month later, the Red Sox were winning and suddenly a serious contender in the American League.
Injuries derailed them with many of the bigger ones happening to the pitching staff. The Red Sox, now at 54-54 entering action on Saturday and just 3.5 games from a playoff spot, have a chance to get back where they feel they belong: in the thick of things.
Boston will have to leapfrog the Cleveland Guardians, Chicago White Sox, and Baltimore Orioles to even get into the on-deck circle for the third wild card. Fortunately, the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners have some problems of their own. The Rays have faded in recent weeks and could very well drop out of the race. The Mariners have much better momentum but are beatable.
The Red Sox have a long way to go before we can start considering them as a truly viable playoff contender. One long streak later, the story in Boston could drastically change.
Hosmer is better than Bobby Dalbec. Pham is better than Bradley Jr. While they did take a step backward at the catcher spot, McGuire is 3 for his first 7 and possibly on his way to helping the Red Sox pull off something special.
New England, keep your fingers crossed.