We are a month into our Fake Red Sox season, which unfortunately means that we have also been a month without real baseball, but we’re here to try and take our minds off of that fact. The good news is that the fake world has seen some solid success for our Fake Sox. Through the first month-plus of the year, Boston jumped out to a 20-13 record and headed into May holding a two-game lead over the Yankees in the division. That’s especially impressive considering the loss of Chris Sale before the season as well as the loss of Rafael Devers, who is still a couple of weeks away from his return, after just a week of play.
After the year got off to a rocky start losing three of four in Toronto, Boston came back out and won four straight series to turn things around and show that they were not just going to roll over. They hit a little bit of a rocky path in the middle of the month, though, losing two series and tying another in a four-series stretch, but closed things out strong with a three-game sweep against the Blue Jays. They also closed the season out with a bananapants trade, sending Jeter Downs, Triston Casas, Brayan Bello, Nick Decker and Nicholas Northcut to Toronto in exchange for Ken Giles.
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley was the hottest hitter on the team very early in the season and carried the lineup over the first ten games or so of the season. He slowed down a bit since then, but still finished April strong and as one of the top hitters in the lineup. By the end of the month he was slashing .288/.348/.512. He’d also agreed to stay in Boston for a few more years, signing a four-year, $46 million extension in the middle of the month. Solid April all around.
Here in the real world, the hope (at least for me) is that Peraza’s role in any possible season is not a huge one. In this fake world, though, he’s been a huge presence at the plate. The middle infielder and former Red has been a hits machine, ending the month of April with a .350 batting average and is second to just David Fletcher in average among all American League hitters. He’s had a little pop, too, hitting three doubles, a triple and three homers for a .490 slug as well.
Our Fake Sox have succeeded despite having one of the worst rotations in all of baseball, and the bullpen has been a big part of that. Barnes has anchored that bullpen, and the trade for Giles had nothing to do with his success as the closer. Barnes finished April with nine saves on the year — third in the AL — and he has yet to allow a run over 13 innings with 22 strikeouts and only five walks. He’s been a monster, and actually leads the team in pitching WAR despite coming out of the bullpen.
I could’ve just put the entire rotation here and moved on, but Pérez has been the worst of the bunch. He hasn’t technically started a bunch of games, actually only having one game started on the stat sheet. Boston has tried to give him a little bit of help by using an opener in front of him, but that hasn’t worked. Pérez has averaged fewer than five innings per start and has a 5.97 ERA which is actually better than his 6.66 FIP.
For the most part, the Red Sox lineup has been at least solid all the way through, but catcher has been the one glaring weakness. After his breakout 2019, Vázquez has taken a step back in 2020 and by the time the month closed out he was hitting .184/.225/.330.
There were a few options here, and it doesn’t feel right putting Hall in this spot, but there’s no denying that he has been bad. The issue is that it’s not really his fault that he’s being forced into a starting spot he should not be holding. The lefty has pitched to a 4.81 ERA with a 6.27 FIP that suggests things could get pretty ugly pretty quickly. His big issue has been control with 5.5 walks per nine innings.
Top Hitter: Josh Ockimey (.412/.516/.902)
Top Pitcher: Tanner Houck (26.2 IP, 4.72 ERA, 27 K, 9 BB)
Top Hitter: Marcus Wilson (.309/.398/556)
Top Pitcher: Durbin Feltman (9 IP, 0.00 ERA, 10 K, 2 BB)
Top Hitter: Garrett Benge (.321/.473/.554)
Top Pitcher: Ryan Zeferjahn (17.1 IP, 3.63 ERA, 21 K, 13 BB)
Top Hitter: Ricardo Cubillan (.404/.480/.539)
Top Pitcher: Yusniel Padron-Artilles (23 IP, 2.74 ERA, 21 K, 5 BB)
- The MVP favorites in the leagues by WAR are Matt Olson in the AL and Keston Hiura in the NL. The Cy Young favorites, again by WAR, are Gerrit Cole in the AL and Stephen Strasburg in the NL.
- Mookie Betts has been one of the worst players in baseball to start the season, hitting .197/.260/.333. He’s on pace to be worth negative 2.4 wins over a full season.
- If the playoffs started on May 1, the division winners would be: Boston, Cleveland and Los Angeles in the AL and in the NL New York and Philadelphia are tied in the East with St. Louis and Colorado leading the other divisions. The AL Wildcards would be Chicago and Oakland while the NL would be whoever lost the play-in game in the east and Cincinnati.