The Red Sox are leading the American League East despite having a mediocre offense. Their team certainly has flaws and a lot of question marks as they head towards the stretch run. The Sox should win the AL East, but it can’t be taken for granted given their droughts at the plate and shaky bullpen. With that said, if they don’t win the division it won’t be because of the starting rotation. On paper, this is the best rotation in baseball. The Red Sox currently have the third best ERA in the AL at 4.05 and they lead the league in strikeouts with 601. Remember, this team has been without David Price for three months and Eduardo Rodriguez for a month. Top to bottom, this is an elite rotation that can’t be matched in MLB. The rotation currently stands as follows:
1. Chris Sale
2. David Price
3. Rick Porcello
4. Drew Pomeranz
5. Eduardo Rodriguez
Let’s start with Sale. Right now, he’s the best starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. He’s a true horse who appears to be built for big games in the postseason. If the Sox get there, they have the guy who no one in baseball wants to face in a playoff game. Surely, the Red Sox have had better #1 pitchers in their rich history. Pedro and Clemens were both better. However, those two pitchers didn’t have the depth behind them that this team does.
If David Price is your #2 starter, you’re in great shape. Price continues to getting bashed by the Boston media for his contract and lack of dominance. However, he is having a really good season since he came off of the DL. Price is 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA and has been pitching like an ace recently. Name a #2 starter in the Sox history who was better than David Price. Perhaps, Curt Schilling in 2004. That’s about it.
Rick Porcello. Before we start focusing on the numbers here, let’s remember that this guy won the Cy Young Award last year. You don’t win that award without talent. Porcello has it and has been pitching much better recently despite his 4-12 record. In addition, Porcello is durable. He’s pitched at least six innings in 19 of his 20 starts his season. While he certainly hasn’t received much run support, he’s definitely capable of pitching better and he has been over the past month.
Who predicted that Drew Pomeranz would have these numbers in mid-July in 2017?
10 wins, 4 losses, 3.51 ERA, 108 strikeouts
Pomeranz is fourth in the AL in wins. He’s been the Red Sox second pitcher this season and is a huge reason why they’re in first place. There isn’t a team in baseball who has a better #4 starter.
Eduardo Rodriguez is back to anchor the rotation. He got off to a great start before landing on the DL for about a month. He has a solid 3.66 ERA on the season. As always, the questions with Rodriguez are not with his ability. Rather, it’s his health and durability.
In 2004, the Red Sox had a starting rotation of Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield, and Bronson Arroyo. At the time, that rotation was argued as the best ever for the Red Sox. This rotation in 2017 is just as strong at the top and is also much deeper.
We can only hope it will produce the same results in October…
As long as “Manager John” doesn’t go with Fister again.