Boston Red Sox midseason report card: Grading the first half of the season

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 29: Hanley Ramirez
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 29: Hanley Ramirez /

The Boston Red Sox are one of the best teams in baseball halfway through the 2017 season, sitting at a record of 50-39. They have shown that they are serious title contenders so far.

With Chris Sale having one of the best seasons of his career and Mookie Betts playing MVP-caliber baseball for the second year in a row, the Boston Red Sox have set themselves up to finish the season strong.

What a relief!

The Sox have been great at staying in the game late, their relievers and Craig Kimbrel usually being responsible for that late game success. Kimbrel has been a fantastic closer. He has already won as many games as he did last year (2) in only 36 games pitched. He has 23 saves, and he has tallied 68 K’s in just over 37 innings of play.

Earlier this week, Kimbrel became just the fifth Red Sox pitcher to record a win in the all star game, pitching one scoreless inning to help the American League win the game. He has only walked 5 batters, which is quite impressive.


Another pitcher who has helped the Boston Red Sox get where they are is Drew Pomeranz. He has delivered quality starts and has 9 wins to only 4 losses. He has struck out 98 batters, which is a great mark for being halfway done with the season. Pomeranz is a huge plus for the pitching rotation.

The top two contributors on this team have been mentioned earlier in this article. Mookie Betts and Sale have proven to be in the top-3 in the American League at their positions. Betts will make the big play in the outfield, even if it means crashing face first into the wall (I still remember that play). He has hit very well on top of that. He has a batting average of .272, and he has 16 homers to go with 53 RBI’s.

Last week, Betts had a game where he drove in 8 runs, breaking the Red Sox record for most career games with at least 8 RBI’s. These stats scream MVP.

MIAMI, FL – JULY 11: Mookie Betts
MIAMI, FL – JULY 11: Mookie Betts /

Chris Sale is arguably the best pitcher in the entire league. He has an ERA of 2.75, 178 K’s, 11 wins, and only 22 walks over 127.2 innings pitched in 18 starts. Those stats put him in a position to have a monster season, and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that he broke his own record for most consecutive games with at least 10 K’s earlier in the year. Can I get a Cy Young, anybody?

Every rose has its thorn…

I suppose that I must mention the bad as well… Rick Porcello and Hanley Ramirez are two players who have not met expectations. Porcello is coming off a Cy Young-winning year. He also had the lowest ERA in the American League.

Related Story: Boston Red Sox: Rick Porcello’s quality starts need more support

This year, he has 4 wins to 11 losses, which is putrid. It is hard to watch, but most that defend his poor season turn to the poor hitting performances by his teammates during his starts. This isn’t to say that the Red Sox don’t have enough consistent and impactful hitters.

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Players like Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts have been very consistent and are huge reasons why the Red Sox are capable of putting up huge run totals each game. Porcello just needs to find his groove, and his outings should become increasingly better.

Hanley Ramirez doesn’t look that bad on paper this year, but he has struggled at times where the lineup needed him to succeed. He has a batting average of .262, and he has 13 homers to go with 34 RBI’s. Since his is the DH, these stats are way under expectations. Maybe he will get it together in the second half of the season.

With the performances of these individuals, the Red Sox are in position to make a run at winning the American League pennant, even the World Series. If I had to grade their first half of the season, I would give them an A.

The Sox have shown that their batting can succeed without David Ortiz, and the pitching rotation has been as deadly as expected after the addition of Chris Sale.

Next: Boston Red Sox: Hanley Ramirez poised for monster 2nd-half

They will probably stay in control of the AL East, but don’t be surprised if it is a tight race between Boston and the Yankees. Let’s see what happens.

All stats in this article were provided by