Boston Red Sox: Over/Under 3rd Place in A.L. East in 2016?


With a record of 78-84, the Boston Red Sox finished in last place in the American League East this season. After an off season filled with exciting moves, this was not exactly what fans who follow the team were expecting.

Free agent additions Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval disappointed to the extreme, while the team was never able to get consistent starting pitching. However, young players like Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley played great down the stretch, giving the team great hope for the immediate future.

Without knowing what the team will do in the off season, it is tough to look ahead to next year. That being said, it is not impossible. Based on the talent on the roster, and across the division, we can see how the Red Sox stack up. Well, let’s take a look at it.

Right now, the Toronto Blue Jays clearly appear to be the class of the division. While they will have some losses to deal with this off season, namely ace David Price who appears unlikely to return, the Blue Jay have an incredibly talented roster paced by their powerful offense. No matter how their season ends, the Blue Jays are going to enter 2016 as the favorites in the American League East.

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After Toronto, the division gets much murkier. The New York Yankees were a wild card team this season, but their roster is seemingly held together by bubble gum and toothpicks. The Yankees are counting on so many aging players that it seems like they can free-fall at any moment. However, never count them out.

The Baltimore Orioles came in third place in the division. They are a talented team, but I think they lack enough impact talent across the board to compete in the division. Also, slugger Chris Davis hits free agency this off season. If the Orioles cannot convince him to come back, they are in trouble.

The Tampa Bay Rays came in fourth place at 80-82. While this isn’t their most impressive team in recent memory, the Rays have a nice stock-pile of young talent to build around. They are going to have a say in this division sometime in the next few years.

Toronto is the clear favorite for next season, but there is a lot of unknown after that. The Orioles seem primed to fall back a bit, the Rays may not be ready, the Yankees could fall apart at anytime and the Red Sox are relying on a lot of young players.

Before the off season truly begins, I power rank the AL East as follows: Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and Orioles. This could change drastically as we move along. Let’s say the Red Sox find a true ace for the top of their rotation. They will move up. Perhaps the Orioles re-sign Davis and find a way to add an impact arm, they will move up. There are many scenarios to change this, but it is fun to take a look at before the off season craziness begins.

Only nine games separated second through last place in 2015, so the talent gap is clearly not large, and there is immediate room for improvement for Boston. So, where do you think the Red Sox will finish in the division next season? Third place is the cop-out answer, so I am taking that one away.

Vote your choice in the poll below, and be sure to voice your opinion in the comments section. For the record, I voted for Over.

Next: Five Free Agents Red Sox Should Target

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