I kind of miss the hatred.
It just hasn't been the same since the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. There hasn't been that one player that was easy to hate. There hasn't been a brawl that has gotten the blood boiling between the Red Sox and the Yankees, and Alex Rodriguez is even kind of likable now in a strange "old man who doesn't care anymore" sort of way.
Interestingly enough, the Yankees did not sign any free agents this offseason, making all of their major acquisitions by trade. Especially with all of the big arms in the bullpen, the Yankees look to be a factor in the division, but how do they stack up against the Red Sox?
The Yankees return a lineup that was second in runs in baseball last season, but is filled with a ton of old guys, inlcuding Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and A-Rod. A lot of the team's success offensively actually depends on Rodriguez duplicating his performance last season, which you can't necessarily count on because he is, after all, 40.
Starlin Castro is an interesting addition here, and he's moving over to second base for the Yankees. Castro learned the position last season with the Cubs after the team called up Addison Russell, and in the ensuing 143 plate appearances (which is a really small sample size) he hit .352/.373/.588 with 12 doubles and six homers. Unfortunately for Castro and New York, correlation does not imply causation, and over the season as a whole, Castro hit only .265/.296/.375.
There's a ton of questions here, but again, there are question with the Red Sox lineup as well. The questions are with younger guys in Boston rather than the older guys with New York, but neither team can confidently claim the edge.
Luis Severino is the x-factor here and he certainly has a lot of talent, but I don't think there's really an ace in this group, especially when considering that Masahiro Tanaka is going to be an injury concern with that elbow. CC Sabathia is throwing in the high-80s and might not even make the roster. Michael Pineda can be really really good, or really really not-so-good (or, like Tanaka, really really broken). Nathan Eovaldi and Ivan Nova round out the rest of the group.
There's a lot of talent here, and with that talent, a lot of upside. But on that same token, there's a ton of downside here as well. It's not hard to imagine this group being pretty damn good. It could also be a trainwreck struggling just to put bodies on the mound.
If you flipped David Price into this rotation, it wouldn't be too different from the Red Sox' (with the exception that Boston doesn't have a Tanaka). Like the Red Sox, the Yankees have a ton of question marks which could really make or break their season. They just lack that anchor up top so long as Tanaka's health remains uncertain and Severino remains unproven.
How Carson Smith's injury impacts the Red Sox bullpen
Many different players on the Red Sox roster will feel the impact of Carson Smith's injury.
So when comparing the Red Sox and the Yankees pen, there is one area that kind of aligns (beyond the attempt to build a super bullpen). Carson Smith and Aroldis Chapman are both out, albeit for very different reasons. Chapman, of course, is one of the best relievers in baseball, as are Andrew Miller and Dellin Betnaces. Together, the trio makes one of the most explosive reliever trios in the history of the game, on paper.
Betances: 1.50 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 131 K, 84 IP
Chapman: 1.63 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 116 K, 66 1/3 IP
Miller: 2.04 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 100 K, 61 2/3 IP
The depth in general with the Yankees pen is a little deeper than the Red Sox and the Bronx Bombers have the edge over here.
Defense certainly isn't the strongest suit for the Yankees. Didi Gregorius is a fantastic defensive shortstop and Chase Headley has a good defensive reputation, but the rest of the team is rather subpar. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner have all lost a step. Teixeira, and McCann continue the trend of once-good defenders who aren't quite as impressive anymore, and Castro isn't great with the glove relative to his position either.
The Red Sox just flat-out win in this department, and it's not that close.
There are many parallels between this Red Sox and Yankee team, although they are on different sides of the age spectrum. Lots of questions with these lineups and the rotations with pretty kickass bullpens. Depending on how some of these x-factors swing for both teams, Boston and New York could be neck and neck this season, or they could be on opposite ends of the division.