2. Yankees vs. Red Sox: Seiya Suzuki Arrives and Dominates
The Boston Red Sox somehow made it from the Wild Card Game to the ALCS last year, coming within two wins of a World Series berth, which should be terrifying enough.
Projections still don’t necessarily believe their 2021 success will be sustainable without Eduardo Rodriguez and (likely) Kyle Schwarber, but those of us in this fandom camp know better.
Is there a chance they’ll win 78-80 games? Sure. But we’re well aware they’ll either win 97 or finish below .500. There is no in-between for this club in terms of meeting its projections, and with master motivator Alex Cora at the helm (congrats on the 60-game vacation for leading a cheating scandal!), odds are high Boston will once again defeat the data and contend.
Just before the MLB Lockout reared its ugly head, the Sox swung a surprise deal to send fan favorite and 31-homer bat Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee. If it feels like mere weeks ago we were being told that Renfroe’s right arm was an unstoppable cannon and people were disrespecting him by placing him on Aaron Judge’s level defensively, that’s because … yeah, it really was just a few weeks between that discourse and him becoming expendable.
Surely that shocking trade was to serve a greater purpose, either freeing up space and cash for a re-signing of Schwarber or a slightly cheaper deal for a similar slugger who’s also better in the field.
Though the waters have been muddied a bit, Seiya Suzuki still feels like a done deal in Boston, as the rumors have long stated. It seems like Chaim Bloom was able to secure some form of commitment from the slugging Japanese right-handed bat who powered out 38 homers with a 1.073 OPS last season.
His swing would look too great peppering the Monster for the union not to happen, especially after the Sox cleared a path.