With the 2018 season approaching, here are my predictions for this season

Here we go. Opening Day is Thursday so I figured I’d give you my predictions for this Red Sox season. I’m going to tell you one thing first though – I’m excited about this Red Sox team. I think this is going to be an exciting season for Sox fans. We have all the pieces to have a successful season. Let’s hope this team can live up to my expectations. So, here are my predictions for this season:

Xander Bogaerts will have a monster season

It is safe to say that Bogaerts was a disappointment last season.  He had some big expectations that he didn’t live up to.  Granted, Bogey was hurt most of the season.  He just was so dang frustrating last year.

In 2015, Bogey was one of the best hitters in the American League.  He finished second in the AL batting race and had 196 hits and drove in 81 runs.  In 2016, the shortstop had a slash line of .294/.356/.446 with 196 hits and 21 home runs.

There were just big expectations for the young shortstop in the 2017 season.  But, he didn’t live up to those expectations.  In all honesty, considering that he played hurt most of the season, he didn’t have that bad of a season.  The Red Sox just need more out of him.  He is still really young and is going to be a guy the Sox will build their team around in the future.

Chad Finn of boston.com wrote a piece a couple weeks ago about Xander Bogaerts and how he hasn’t been aggressive in the past.  Finn says that manager Alex Cora will really help Bogaerts this season with changing his hitting philosophy.  I really do believe this will be in the case.  Cora will push the best out of Bogey and help him have a bounceback year. So expect a big season from Bogaerts.

David Price will silence the haters and have a phenomenal year

There is obviously some bad blood between David Price and Red Sox fans.  I get that Price hasn’t lived up to the big expectations that fans expected when the team signed him back in 2015.  But I am begging Sox fans to give Price a chance.

Last postseason when David Price pitched out of the bullpen, he looked terrific.  Price was finally starting to feel like himself.  It was fun watching him pitch in the postseason last year.  He was bringing a lot of energy and I just loved watching it.

Price has looked pretty good this spring and is feeling great, which is a huge plus.  Price was asked last week about how he feels and he said that this is the best he has felt in a long time.  That is music to my ears.  That is exactly what Sox fans wanted to hear.  This is a really positive sign and let’s hope he continues to feel this good the rest of the season.

David Price is scheduled to start the second game of the regular season against the Rays.  I am going to say that Friday will be the start of the David Price revenge tour.  I think that Price will go on a tear this season and silence all of his haters and pitch phenomenal.  Price deserves to be treated well in Boston, he really does.  I am hoping that sometime this season, Red Sox fans will be able to see how Price can play and get behind him.

Hanley Ramirez will go on a tear this season

There are some doubts surrounding Hanley Ramirez this year.  Ramirez lost his DH spot when the team signed J.D. Martinez, so now Ramirez is going to have to do something he doesn’t really want to be doing: play first base.  To make things worse for Hanley – he is going to have to share playing time with Mitch Moreland.  That is if Ramirez can prove himself as an everyday first baseman and step up this season.

Late last season, Ramirez was having some trouble hitting lefties. A journalist approached Ramirez and asked him about this.  Hanley  said that he had no clue that he was struggling against lefties, but if he was he would fix it.  Guess what – Hanley kept his word and fixed it.  He went on a tear when a lot of people were doubting him.  It is obvious Hanley plays better ticked off.  Let’s hope he is mad that he is being doubted and just mashes this season.  That is my prediction.

J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Giancarlo Stanton

I will have a full piece coming on this.  But, yes, I do believe that J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Stanton.  I won’t say too much right now, but let me say this – Martinez has played for a winning ballclub.  Stanton, on the other hand, has not.

The Red Sox win the AL East

After the New York Yankees traded for slugger Giancarlo Stanton, this prediction would have been ludicrous to make to most people.  But after the Red Sox signed J.D. Martinez, a lot of people started to really think that the Red Sox could beat out the Yanks and win the division.

I really do believe that the Red Sox will win the AL East.  I think that a lot of guys will have a big year for the Sox, and I also think that this Red Sox team has something special.  I do believe that the division race will be close, but I think the Sox will pull it out.

So there are my predictions for this 2018 Red Sox team.  Some of these might be considered hot takes but I really do believe each of these predictions will come true.  Now, we wait.