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1 RED SOX

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OVERALL RANK 2

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP BOSTON

Chris Sale's delivery looks terrible, but it always has. That doesn't mean he's not gonna blow out tomorrow, but I'm not afraid of that.... Having Sale is great for Rick Porcello because it takes the heat off him. He commanded his fastball and threw strikes with his curve all year. It doesn't come around often that someone commands two pitches in the zone that well.... I'm not a David Price guy. He's never won big games. His velocity's down and he's having a tough time making the adjustment.... Steven Wright's got the right nature. He knows he's got a trick pitch and he doesn't take himself too seriously.... Craig Kimbrel is one of the best relievers in baseball. He struggled the first part of last year. Is he on the slide? I think he's gonna be O.K. You bring an NL guy into the AL, there are twice as many hitters and you can't just blow people away.... Tyler Thornburg is gonna scuffle early for that same reason.... Sandy León was unbelievable last year. Everything he hit dropped in. I don't know if that'll happen again ... Pablo Sandoval was a million pounds last year—he looked like Archie Bunker—but he lost weight and his feet have always been good. Boston fans will cut him some slack—until he hits .220. Then they'll hate him again.... Boy, this is a good outfield! It's a good group of kids too. It's the best outfield in the AL, mostly because of Mookie Betts. I like everything about him.... Once Andrew Benintendi learns to lift, he'll add a little power.... Blake Swihart has had a nice spring and Christian Vázquez is the best catcher of the three they've got. Some teams don't have any.

MANAGER JOHN FARRELL

5TH SEASON WITH BOSTON

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

2B DUSTIN PEDROIA

R-R .318 .376 .449 5.6

SS XANDER BOGAERTS [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .294 .356 .446 3.7

LF ANDREW BENINTENDI [ROOKIE] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

L-L .295 .359 .476 0.6

RF MOOKIE BETTS [TEAM MVP] [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

R-R .318 .363 .534 9.6

DH HANLEY RAMÍREZ [INJURY RISK]

R-R .286 .361 .505 .2.8

CF JACKIE BRADLEY JR. [DEFENSIVE STAR]

L-R .267 .349 .486 5.3

3B PABLO SANDOVAL [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

S-R .245 .292 .366 -0.9 [2015 STATS]

1B MITCH MORELAND [NEW ACQUISITION]

L-L .233 .298 .422 0.7

C SANDY LEÓN

S-R .310 .369 .476 2.7

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

UT BROCK HOLT [DEFENSIVE STAR]

L-R .255 .322 .383 1.2

C CHRISTIAN VÁZQUEZ [DEFENSIVE STAR]

R-R .227 .277 .308 -0.3

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

LH CHRIS SALE [NEW ACQUISITION] [BARGAIN]

17--10 3.34 9.3 4.9

RH RICK PORCELLO

22--4 3.15 7.6 5.1

LH DAVID PRICE [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

17--9 3.99 8.9 3.0

RH STEVEN WRIGHT [BARGAIN]

13--6 3.33 7.3 2.1

LH DREW POMERANZ

11--12 3.32 9.8 4.0

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH CRAIG KIMBREL

31 3.40 14.1 0.9

RH TYLER THORNBURG [NEW ACQUISITION]

13 2.15 12.1 2.5

NEW ACQUISITION

STATS FROM 2016

(R) ROOKIE

*2015 STATS

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

For the first time in his tenure, John Farrell must build an every-day lineup without David Ortiz. He'll also have to decide where to bat rookie sensation Andrew Benintendi. The No. 2 spot would be a nice landing place, between two great righties in Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts, protecting him against lefty relievers. (Benintendi hit .179 in the majors in 28 at bats against lefties.) He has the on-base skills to get on for Betts and Hanley Ramirez, the speed to advance on their hits and the pop to drive in Pedroia. It's the perfect spot for Benintendi.

BOTTOM LINE

The best team in the division by a lot, and one of the top two in the American League.