The Boston Red Sox have finished in last place of the AL East division for 2 consecutive seasons now, well below standards for 21st century baseball in Boston.
Fans are up in arms wondering where the big offseason moves are to keep up with the spending New York Yankees and surging Baltimore Orioles in the division. If they want to compete with what might be one of the toughest divisions in baseball, one would think they'll have to do something soon.
Or do they?
New Baseball Stat Has Red Sox Primed for a Breakout in 2024
Bradford Doolittle of ESPN has diagnosed a new analytical stat (Subscription Required) called the Breakout Index. The Red Sox scored a 106.5 BRK with the new formula, making them the most likely team in baseball to come back to life - on paper, at least.
This is because of the youth in the Red Sox organization coming up through the minor league system. Their farm system has had a collective winning record for 3 consecutive seasons now. Should those records translate as young talent emerges to the major league level, the Red Sox should be well into the thick of the race.
This should not be an excuse for the Red Sox to stop production on the trade and free agency markets. There are still big bats and arms available, and this roster needs a jolt. There's also an unaccountable value in having veteran pieces mixed with young ballplayers in the clubhouse. But if the numbers aren't lying to us, the Red Sox should be able to improve in 2024 with the resources available.
Betting markets aren't nearly as keen on a breakout for the Sox though. They are heavy +260 underdogs to make the playoffs, with the "miss the playoffs" side of the coin a significant favorite at -350.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.