Red Sox End First Half Atop Baseball World
The first half of the Major League Baseball season has come to an end and the Boston Red Sox are atop the the baseball world.
Compiling a 68-30 record over their first 98 games of the season, has put the Sox in sole possession of the best overall record in the game and 4.5 games up on the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Boston's hot start has been paced by an offense that leads the league in runs, runs per game, OPS, hits and doubles. It also ranks second in all of baseball, behind the Yankees, in slugging percentage and home runs.
Leading the way, offensively, have been Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, who are sitting atop most hitting categories. Martinez, who has posted an impressive slash line of .328/.393/.644 in his first season in Beantown, is tied with Cleveland's Jose Ramirez for the Major League lead in homers with 29 and also leads the show with 80 RBI. For his own part, Betts has posted a Majors-high batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, through the first half, while sitting second, behind Anaheim's Mike Trout, in On-Base Percentage.
While Boston's offense has led the way, their pitching has held up it's end of the bargain as well. Paced by perennial All-Star Chris Sale, who has 10 victories and an AL-best 2.23 ERA which is second only to the Mets' Jacob DeGrom in all of baseball, the Sox rotation boasts four double digit game winners.
Boston's pitching staff, as a whole, sits in the top 10 in ERA, hits allowed, walks allowed, home runs allowed, strikeouts, strikeouts per nine innings, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS, among others.
All in all, things couldn't be going any better for the Red Sox, as the All-Star break gets underway. Boston does have a tougher schedule over their last 64 games than they had in their first 98, however, the way they are playing makes it seem as though it doesn't matter who they play or when they play them.
For now, Red Sox nation can rejoice and enjoy a season that has, so far, been one that feels different from the past few campaigns in which they have had good teams that have been unable to hold up come the postseason.