May 2, 2021

Red Sox Have Second-Largest Improvement In Postseason Odds

The Red Sox finished April with a 17-10 record. That's a 102-win pace.

Boston was the only MLB team with 17 victories and its .630 winning percentage was #1 in MLB.

This year is the 29th time the Red Sox have won at least 17 of their first 27 games. The last two seasons were 2013 and 2018.

(All stats below as of the morning of May 1.)

The Red Sox lead the American League in slugging (.437) and OPS (.759) and are second in runs scored (129) and third in average (.258). They also rank second in the AL in games with 5+ runs scored (12).

Red Sox pitchers have allowed only 11 home runs their last 18 games (153.1 IP) and they are the only team not to allow as many as three dongs in a game this season. Of the 641 batted balls allowed by Red Sox pitchers, only 37 have been "barreled", the lowest percentage in MLB (5.8%). And Boston's bullpen is seventh in MLB in ERA (3.09).

The Red Sox have been excellent on the road (9-2), although their 11 games away from Fenway are the second-fewest in MLB. The Red Sox have the best road ERA in MLB (2.67) and are second in WHIP (1.09) and opponent's average (.201), trailing the Dodgers in both categories.

On May 1, J.D. Martinez led MLB in home runs (9), RBI (25), extra-base hits (19), total bases (70), and doubles (tied, 10). He is second in MLB in slugging (.745) and OPS (1.175), behind Mike Trout (.781, 1.304). 

Martinez is the second player in Red Sox history to lead the majors in both homers and RBI on May 1, joining Jimmie Foxx in 1940 (4 HR, 19 RBI). 

Martinez (9 home runs) and Rafael Devers (7) are only the third pair of Boston teammates to each hit at least seven home runs prior to May, joining Manny Ramirez (9) and Brian Daubach (7) in 2001 and Ramirez and David Ortiz, 7 each in 2005. 

Most Red Sox Home Runs Before May 1: David Ortiz (10, 2006) and Hanley Ramirez (10, 2015).

Note For Previous Three Paragraphs: Seasons began later in years past, giving more modern players a distinct calendar advantage.

Most Extra-Base Hits Through First 417 Games With Red Sox

231 - Nomar Garciaparra (1996-99)
227 - Ted Williams (1939-41)
200 - Rafael Devers (2017-21)

The Red Sox also saw their playoff odds improve more than any other team, outside of Milwaukee.

As Thomas Harrigan ( writes:

Red Sox: +19.8 (38.9% to 58.7%)

Coming off a last-place finish in 2020, the Red Sox brought manager Alex Cora back into the fold but otherwise refrained from making wholesale changes in the offseason. With much of the same personnel, the club entered Saturday with a 3½-game lead in the AL East.

Led by a resurgent J.D. Martinez (nine homers, 1.175 OPS), Boston's offense owns the highest OPS (.759) in the AL. More importantly, its pitching has improved significantly, ranking third in the AL in ERA (3.55) after finishing 14th with a 5.58 mark in 2020. Eduardo Rodriguez's return from a year-long absence and Nick Pivetta's strong start have boosted the rotation, and new bullpen additions Garrett Whitlock, Matt Andriese, Hirokazu Sawamura and Adam Ottavino have combined to allow 10 earned runs in 46⅔ innings (1.93 ERA). With a 17-10 record, Boston now has the fourth-best postseason odds of any AL team.

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