The Boston Red Sox have been putting together an impressive season, although they have not been recently hyped as a serious World Series contender. At this point in the season, the Red Sox possess a 52-39 record, which has them sitting in fourth place in the American League standings.
David "Big Papi" Ortiz is playing in what is likely his final MLB season and has looked like a young version of himself. He has a great offensive lineup around him, and the Red Sox have put together a solid rotation as well. There are still some flaws that Boston will have to deal with, but they deserve more credit than they have been given.
Looking at the American League, there is not one team the Red Sox couldn't compete with in the postseason. Cleveland is leading the American League, with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles right behind them. Boston is just two games back of the No. 1 spot.
It is obvious that the race will come down to the final games of the season. Cleveland is without question the hottest team in baseball, but the Red Sox are happy with their position. A late-season win streak can certainly get them back to the top of the standings.
All of that being said, what five reasons can be given to support the statement that the Boston Red Sox are serious World Series contenders?
The Presence of One of the Best Hitters in Baseball
That's right, David Ortiz is one of the biggest reasons that the Red Sox are serious contenders. He is fourth in the American League in home runs, second in RBI's, and second in batting average. Having that kind of an offensive threat come postseason time will give the Red Sox much needed consistency.
Emergence of Young Offensive Talent
Coming into the season, it was obvious that the Red Sox needed their young bats to step up. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. have all stepped up in a big way. Boston is leading the entire league in runs scored by 26, and a lot of their success has to do with the production that the young players have had.
Excellent Starting Pitching Alongside of David Price
David Price was the prize free agency addition for Boston, but he has not been the best starter for the Red Sox. Rick Porcello and Steven Wright are both pitching at an incredibly high level, with records of 12-2 and 11-5 respectively. Boston will continue relying on their pitching moving forward, and it certainly seems like they won't slow down anytime soon.
Perfect Addition of Drew Pomeranz to the Rotation
Boston made a big trade to acquire starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz to bolster their starting rotation. He is set to make his Red Sox debut tonight. Pomeranz comes in with an 8-7 record to go along with a 2.47 ERA during his tenure with the San Diego Padres and will be a huge addition for the Red Sox.
Potential for Another Move Ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline
The Red Sox could still be looking to make another addition ahead of the MLB trade deadline. After getting Pomeranz, general manager Mike Hazen could still add another piece. He could focus on improving the bullpen or offensive depth, which would give Boston a major boost either way.
Expect to see the Red Sox heat up down the stretch of the season and into the postseason. They may not end up winning the World Series or the American League, but they should be taken as a serious contender.
Do you think the Boston Red Sox are a serious World Series contender this season? Who do you think is the best team in the American League? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Charles Krupa/AP Images]