It’s all falling into place. With a lineup that will strongly resemble the one on Opening Day, the Sox did some serious damage this afternoon against the Twins. Let’s get into it.
Chris Sale does Chris Sale things
Five innings, zero runs, six strikeouts and one walk for the big guy, who’s going to be putting up lines like this all year. He won’t get the call on Opening Day, but make no mistake: He’s the ace and probably the best pitcher in the American League. He’s got 26 K’s through 21 innings this spring, and just 2 walks. Dat’s good. Bovada lists him as the favorite to win this year’s AL Cy Young Award, with +350 odds. Corey Kluber is second at +500, and he’s the only one that’s even close. For reference, David Price is at +1600, reigning champ Rick Porcello is at +3300 and Craig Kimbrel is at +6600. For reasons unbeknownst to this writer, Joe Kelly is off the board entirely. Those clowns in Vegas sure are a bunch of clowns, imho.
Steve Selsky can’t stop
He didn’t start — see the note about this being the real starting lineup, more or less — but he made his presence felt with a three-run, pinch hit home run off punching bag Buddy Boshers in the eighth inning. It’s his third home run of the spring, and it brings his preseason slash line up to a Troutian .325/.413/.625. Itinerant Red Sox reporter Evan Drellich reported in February that John Farrell likes Selsky, and Steve-O has rewarded that confidence. He’ll be around this year, and if any of this is real, it’ll be a nice boost to an already loaded team.
Will Andrew Benintendi hit .400?
Let’s face it: He probably will. Even in the tragic event he doesn’t, a cool .380 or so could win him the AL batting title and MVP award. (For what it’s worth, Benintendi isn’t even listed on Bovada’s MVP odds list — they’re clowns, remember? — but he’s certainly a better bet than, say, Albert Pujols, who bottoms out the list at +10000. If you can get odds on Bennie, you should take them, whatever they are. I’m serious.) Anyhow, he went 2-4 today to raise his spring slash to .313/.387/.593, also going yard off Boshers, a lefty-on-lefty donger that only bodes well for the youngster and less well for, well, Boshers. You’re not going to believe this, but Buddy B. doesn’t have MVP odds either, nor does he have Cy Young odds. I would not take them if you could get them, even if he was your son. I’m serious.