JUPITER, FL - MARCH 9: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox throws the ball against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 9, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Red Sox 5-4. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris Sale

In football, it’s defense that wins championships. Baseball, on the other hand, is usually determined by pitching. In this article, we’ll focus on three areas why the Red Sox will be successful in 2018 through their solid pitching. In fact, the Red Sox rotation was considered one of the top units in baseball.

Why Pitching Will Determine The Red Sox Success In 2018

Red Sox Starting Pitching

Considering the Red Sox were without starter David Price they had a very successful 2017 season. If Price can stay healthy in 2018, the Red Sox will compete with the Yankees in defending their AL East crown. Even though the Red Sox had a league low 168 home runs, they still won with quality pitching. Boston had a team ERA of 3.70 compared to the Yankees 3.72. Despite the Yankees with sluggers Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez, the Sox still finished first with pitching. Repeating as division champs will depend on the starting pitching. Comparing the two staffs, Boston has the edge. With the game changing, teams with the best bullpens are usually the teams that survive in the playoffs.

Strong Bullpens

No longer are managers relying on their starters to go deep into games. In the past year’s teams are taking their starters out after 5or6 innings.This not only benefits the starting pitcher from getting hurt it prolongs their performances as the year goes on.                                                                                                                                      This past offseason baseball’s top free agent signings were relievers Teams like the Rockies, added Wade Davis and Jeff Shaw, while the Cubs signed  Joe Morrow to bolster their relief department. Even the World champion Astros were very aggressive by signing Hector Rondon, Joe Smith, and Tyler Clippard   Late last season the Astros acquired a long time Tiger Justin Verlander on the last day of August. That deal seemed to be the piece that fueled Houston to the World Series.

Red Sox Bullpen

Even though the Yankees won the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes, Boston has one the games best closers in Craig Kimbrell. Kimbrell is a future Hall of Famer who was lights out all of last season. If Alex Cora can manage his starters, then the Sox should be right in the thick of things all season. Make no mistake, relievers Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Heath Hembree have their work cut out for them. Not only are the Yankees better with Stanton, the Angels signed  Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani could revolutionize the game by hitting two days a week and pitching two days a week. Ohtani and Mike Trout could make things very interesting in the Wild Card race.

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