The Red Sox aren’t Far Behind the Yankees.. if at all

Photo Credit: Boston Herald

Over the past ten years, the rivalry has lacked certain excitement. In 2018, the Red Sox hatred should be renewed.

How far though, are the Red Sox from their rivals to the south?

The Yankees are the early favorite to bring home the AL East crown, but don’t believe the Red Sox are far behind them.  Enjoy a position-by-position comparison.

Starting Pitching:

This is close, due to the Yankees solid depth. Severino is a top tier arm and Tanaka is excellent as well – regardless of the arm troubles.

The Yankees rotation is a safe bet to be good, but not great.

  1. Luis Severino
  2. Masahiro Tanaka
  3. Sonny Gray
  4. C.C Sabathia
  5. Jordan Montgomery

The Red Sox rotation possesses a higher upside with Chris Sale, David Price, Drew Pomeranz, and Rick Porcello. The Red Sox rotation boasts two members that have not won a Cy Young award. These two happened to be their best arms last season: Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz.

To be fair, after Chris Sale, this Red Sox rotation could either be nearly untouchable, or terrible. Despite relative uncertainty, there is a higher possibility of being stellar.

  1. Chris Sale
  2. David Price
  3. Drew Pomeranz
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Eduardo Rodriguez / Steven Wright / Hector Velazquez

Advantage: Boston Red Sox


The Red Sox have a lot of variables here and could be great. Joe Kelly, Carson Smith, and Tyler Thornburg headline a mystery list that has high upside. Additionally, Kimbrel was lights out in 2017.

The Yankees just have a little more certainty and upside here. Kahnle, Betances, and Robertson are extremely solid set up options. Chapman is still phenomenal, except for that time Rafael Devers did this:

Advantage: New York Yankees


Gary Sanchez vs. Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez ranks as probably a top 5 defensive catcher in the Major Leagues.  Gary Sanchez very well might be in the bottom 5 of that category.  It’s definitely worth noting, but not enough to put Christian ahead of the Yankee slugger.  Sanchez can rake, and that’s really what matters.

Advantage: New York Yankees

First Base:

Hanley Ramirez vs. Greg Bird

Fair warning, but by this time next year this could be completely the opposite.  Hanley Ramirez finally has a healthy shoulder and has changed his way of conditioning.  He hit 30 home runs just two seasons ago.  As well as 23 last year with one arm.

I take Hanley here really without question, but this one could easily change by mid-May.

Advantage: Boston Red Sox

Second Base:

It’s Nunez here until Pedroia is back and it’s either Wade or Torreyes here for the Yankees.  Either way, Sox by a bit here.

Nunez was solid for Boston last year and Dustin Pedroia put up good numbers before the injury bug showed up.

Advantage: Boston Red Sox


Xander Bogaerts vs. Didi Gregorious

Xander Bogaerts fan boy here.  In 2015 and 2016, Bogaerts was not only one of the best shortstops, but one of the best players in the league.  If he can regain some of that form, this is a virtual tie.  For now though, it kills me to have to take Gregorious.

It kills me even more to say that this really isn’t that close for me, either.  He was so good in the postseason last year, and plays in a ballpark that fits him really well.

Advantage: New York Yankees

Third Base:

Rafael Devers vs. Brandon Drury

Not. Even. Close.

Advantage: Boston Red Sox

Left Field:

Andrew Benintendi vs. Brett Gardner

These players actually had comparable numbers last year and Gardner is a better fielder than Benintendi.  However, Benny Biceps gets better everyday and Gardner is entering his age 34 season.

Benintendi is a couple years away from entering his prime and a breakout season could be on the horizon.  I take Benintendi here although it’s probably closer than most Red Sox fans would like to think.

Advantage: Boston Red Sox

Center Field:

Jackie Bradley Jr. vs. Aaron Hicks

The battle of two of the strongest outfield arms in baseball.

JBJ has more baseball talent, that’s no question at all, but his inconsistencies at the plate make this close.  Aaron Hicks really gets on base and had a decent OPS last year.

I’ll take Hicks’ bat over Bradley’s any day. While hitting is important, Bradley is just disgusting in center field.  For a rotation that needs to have a good year, that’s just so valuable.

Not to mention, Jackie can hit sometimes.  I’ll take Bradley here by the slimmest of margins.

Hey Aaron Judge, who would you rather have?

Advantage: Boston Red Sox

Right Field:

Mookie Betts vs. Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge was the best hitter in the league last year by a lot. Mookie Betts has been the best overall fielder in the league the past two years, despite being an MVP candidate a few years prior.

Mookie is sure to take a step forward with Alex Cora and Tim Hyers and Judge has the potential for a sophomore slump.

Advantage: Draw

Designated Hitter/OF:

J.D Marinez vs. Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton was worse than J.D Martinez in just about every hitting category except total home runs and total RBI’s last season.  Here’s the thing, when you match up JD’s number of plate appearances to Stanton’s, Martinez projects actually more home runs than Stanton.

Crazy right?

Giancarlo had almost 700 plate appearances last year. JD had 489!

The newly acquired Red Sox slugger had a better slugging percentage, a better average, and the same exact OBP as Giancarlo last year.

Statistics, or not, it would be wise to crown JD just yet. Giancarlo is still the reigning NL MVP and is very good.  Contrary to the numbers, I’m going to say this is even.

Advantage: Draw

There isn’t a clear cut better team, despite preseason predictions. One thing is for certain:

2018 will be the re-birth of the Red Sox / Yankees rivalry and we can’t wait.

Agree / Disagree with the comparisons? Comment below!

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