Tom Verducci: Red Sox win AL East and AL Pennant, but lose World Series to Cubs.
Ben Reiter: Red Sox win AL East. World Series: Astros over Mets.
Albert Chen: Blue Jays win AL East, Red Sox win one of the wild cards. World Series: Nationals over Mariners.
Jay Jaffe: Red Sox win AL East and AL Pennant, but lose World Series to Cubs.
Ted Keith: Red Sox win AL East and AL Pennant, but lose World Series to Cubs.
John Tayler: Red Sox win AL East. World Series: Dodgers over Cleveland.
Emma Span: Red Sox win AL East and AL Pennant, but lose World Series to Dodgers.
Jack Dickey: Red Sox win AL East. World Series: Cleveland over Mets.
AL MVP: 1 of 8 (Jaffe) picked Mookie Betts.
AL Cy Young: 2 of 8 (Verducci, Tayler) picked Chris Sale.
AL Rookie: 7 of 8 (Verducci, Reiter, Dickey, Jaffe, Keith, Span, Tayler) picked Andrew Benintendi.
Rival scouts assess the Red Sox:
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.... 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.SI: The best reason to watch the Red Sox:
Even with David Ortiz's retirement, there's no shortage of reasons to watch the defending AL East champions. Their rotation features a pair of AL Cy Young Award winners (reigning honoree Rick Porcello and 2012 recipient David Price), and they offer strong candidates for AL MVP (rightfielder Mookie Betts) and Rookie of the Year (leftfielder Andrew Benintendi). That said, the arrival of Sale in a blockbuster off-season trade with the White Sox offers something new. Sale will be pitching for a contender for the first time since 2012, and the side-arming southpaw will be battling to avoid the first-year struggles that have plagued Porcello, Price and many other hurlers upon arriving in Boston. He's finished in the top-six of AL Cy Young voting for five straight years; a sixth would help ensure the Red Sox return to October.ESPN
Picks from 35 "experts":
AL East: Red Sox 28, Blue Jays 6, Yankees 1.
AL Pennant: Cleveland 15, Red Sox 9, Astros 8, Blue Jays 2, Rangers 1.
NL Pennant: Cubs 14, Dodgers 10, Nationals 7, Giants 3, Mets 1.
World Series: Cleveland 10, Cubs 9, Astros 5, Dodgers 5, Red Sox 4*, Giants 1, Nationals 1.
(*: Jessica Mendoza, Doug Padilla, Eduardo Perez, Eddie Matz)
[Jonah Keri, Bill Reiter, R.J. Anderson, Mike Axisa, Dayn Perry, Matt Snyder]
AL East: All 6 writers pick the Red Sox for first place. Anderson and Reiter both predict the Red Sox will win the AL Pennant and lose the World Series to the Cubs.
AL MVP: Keri picks Betts.
AL Cy Young: Snyder, Perry, and Anderson pick Sale.
AL Rookie: All 6 writers pick Benintendi.
[Ted Berg, Scott Boeck, Steve Borelli, Steve Gardner, Gabe Lacques, Bob Nightengale, Jorge L. Ortiz]
AL East: All 7 writers pick the Red Sox for first place.
ALDS: All 7 writers pick the Red Sox to win the ALDS.AL East Red Sox 94-68 Blue Jays 87-75 Orioles 84-78 Yankees 80-82 Rays 75-87
ALCS: 5 of the 7 writers (Berg, Gardner, Lacques, Nightengale, Ortiz) pick the Red Sox to win the AL Pennant.
World Series: 3 of the 7 writers (Berg, Gardner, Ortiz) pick the Red Sox to win the World Series.
AL MVP: 4 of the 7 (Boeck, Borelli, Gardner, Ortiz) pick Betts.
AL Cy Young: 2 of the 7 writers (Berg, Nightengale) pick Sale.
AL Rookie: 4 of the 7 (Berg, Boeck, Nightengale, Ortiz) pick Benintendi.
Red Sox 93-69 Blue Jays 89-73 Orioles 89-73 Yankees 84-78 Rays 68-94Red Sox predicted to score 4.93 runs per game (#1 in MLB).
Red Sox predicted to allow 4.31 runs per game (8th in MLB).
AL East: Red Sox 43, Blue Jays 6, Rays 2, Yankees 2, Orioles 1.
AL Wild Card #1: Red Sox got 6 votes.
AL Wild Card #2: Red Sox got 2 votes.
AL MVP: Trout 34, Lindor 7, Correa 5, Machado 5, Betts 3.
AL Cy Young: Sale 17, Kluber 15, Darvish 7, Tanaka 4, Carrasco 3, Archer 2, Stroman 2, Verlander 2, Sanchez 1, McCullers 1.
AL Rookie: Benintendi 40 of 54 votes.
What is your predicted order of finish in the AL East? How many games will the Red Sox win?
Rob Bradford: Blue Jays, Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Rays. ... 90.
John Tomase: Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays. ... 92.
Ryan Hannable: Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Rays. ... 91.
Alex Reimer: Blue Jays, Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays. ... 79.
Rob Bradford: Rangers over Nationals.
John Tomase: Cleveland over Cubs.
Ryan Hannable: Nationals over Blue Jays.
Alex Reimer: Astros over Nationals.
Peter Abraham: Blue Jays win AL East. Red Sox are one of the wild cards and win the ALCS over Cleveland. World Series: Dodgers over Red Sox in 7.
Nick Cafardo: Red Sox win AL East and beat Blue Jays in ALCS. World Series: Cubs over Red Sox in 7.
Dan Shaughnessy: Red Sox win AL East and beat Astros in ALCS. World Series: Cubs over Red Sox in 7.
Christopher L. Gasper: Red Sox win AL East and lose ALCS to Cleveland. World Series: Indians over Dodgers in 7.
Chad Finn: Orioles win AL East. Red Sox win one of the wild cards and lose the ALCS to Astros. World Series: Cubs over Astros in 7.
Alex Speier: Blue Jays win AL East. Red Sox win one of the wild cards. World Series: Cleveland over Nationals in 7.
Ron Borges: 92-70, win AL East. Win AL Pennant. Win World Series over Cubs.
Michael Silverman: 90-72, 1st in AL East. World Series: Cleveland over Dodgers.
Steve Buckley: 96-66, 1st in AL East. Win AL pennant. Win World Series over Cubs.
Jason Mastrodonato: 93-69, 1st in AL East. Win AL Pennant. Lose World Series to Cubs.
Chad Jennings: 90-72, 1st in AL East. World Series: Dodgers over Cleveland.
[Tim Brown, Jeff Passan, Chris Cwik, Mike Oz, Liz Roscher, Mark Townsend]
AL East: All 6 writers pick Red Sox. (Passan and Brown pick the Yankees for last place.)
ALDS: 4 of 6 (Passan, Brown, Cwik, Roscher) pick Red Sox to advance.
ALCS: 1 of those 4 (Brown) picks Red Sox to win AL Pennant.
World Series: Brown also picks Red Sox to win World Series, beating the Giants.
AL MVP: No votes for a Red Sox player.
AL Cy Young: 4 of 6 (Passan, Brown, Oz, Cwik) pick Sale.
AL Rookie: All 6 pick Benintendi.
Also: Brown picks Kimbrel to lead the AL in saves. ... Brown and Oz pick Pablo Sandoval to win AL Comeback Player of the Year.