Boston Closes out the First Half on Top
The Red Sox hit a speed bump as they entered the ASG. After winning a series against the Rangers they were tripped up by the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite losing that four game set, the Red Sox are crowned the first half champions. They lead the New York Yankees by 3.5 games. Boston will have to contend with the same Yankees team after the break before hosting the Blue Jays. If they can take the series from the Yankees they will have gone a long way in consolidating their hold on the East. Red Sox fans have plenty to watch at the ASG as Mookie Betts, Chris Sale, and Craig Kimbrel are all in the starting lineup.
The Red Sox have powered their way to first the last few weeks with consistency. Their offense was one of the most dominant in June. Their rotation, bolstered by the return of David Price, has done a 180. Doug Fister has fit in well in the back half of the rotation, affording their bullpen some much needed rest. With Eduardo Rodriguez close to return from injury, the Red Sox will have some unique options. They could slide Fister into the bullpen and serve as long relief or a spot starter. They could also send someone else packing if it nets them an upgrade elsewhere. Third base would be a prime position.
The Red Sox will enter the second half as the Easts team to beat. With the ability to upgrade their rotation and bullpen internally, the Red Sox can be flexible at deadline.