This is the best Red Sox team...ever.

uk_sox_fan

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 11, 2006
1,161
London, England
Not sure if it's been posted before but here is the list for the highest win totals by franchise:
Code:
Team Wins
CHC 116
SEA 116
NYY 114
CLE 111
PIT 110
BAL 109
NYM 108
CIN 108
OAK 107
BOS 106+
ATL 106
STL 106
SFG 106
LAD 105
DET 104
PHI 102
MIN 102
KCR 102
HOU 102 (99+)
ARI 100
CWS 100
LAA 100
TOR 99
SDP 98
WSN 98
TBR 97
TEX 96
MIL 96
COL 92
MIA 92
 

Beale13

lurker
Feb 2, 2006
68
But the Sox play those teams! 19 times for the Yankees!

A great NL team this year wouldnt have had to play more than maybe 6 games against 100 win teams
But it's not like we manhandled the few good teams in the AL. We're 14-15 against the three 100-ish win AL teams with three left to play. It's more that we've been spectacular against the bad teams, which happen to be more plentiful than usual this season.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
43,561
Next hill to climb is most combined wins in a season for the Sox--regular and postseason.

1912: 109
2004: 109
2013: 108
2007: 107
1946: 107
2018: 106*
 

SirPsychoSquints

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,648
Charleston, SC
But it's not like we manhandled the few good teams in the AL. We're 14-15 against the three 100-ish win AL teams with three left to play. It's more that we've been spectacular against the bad teams, which happen to be more plentiful than usual this season.
The 1912 Sox were 36-7 vs. the two 100 loss teams that year.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,151
Here's an odd fact that I'm not sure has been posted yet: This year's Sox team is only 3 wins away from being the winningest team in MLB History without a single 20 game winner on its pitching staff. Would break the tie (108 wins) held by the '75 Reds and '86 Mets.
 

lapa

lurker
Apr 20, 2018
544
But it's not like we manhandled the few good teams in the AL. We're 14-15 against the three 100-ish win AL teams with three left to play. It's more that we've been spectacular against the bad teams, which happen to be more plentiful than usual this season.
Probably it’s normal that good teams beat crap teams and go even vs good teams I know that in football there were some great stats showing correlation between ‘battering minnows’ and being a good team, but I think the relatively two tiered level seems more pronounced somehow this year and probably that’s partly why this team doesn’t pass the ‘smell test’ for being the best - not to take anything away from them in any way.

I also wonder what analysis is available to show how clumping affects results I mean in a super exaggerated example if Bradley Vazquez holt Nunez and kinsler hit 3 hr all in same game but nothing otherwise that’s 150 runs in one game and nothing in 161 other games. It ‘feels’ like they’ve very much spread out the ‘which scrub doesn’t suck’ in a ‘better’ way than expected but maybe that’s just stretching.

There’s also the argument about best - is it season or one off game or playoffs or what, that’s all different things and works both ways - some teams with less good seasons might have an awesome playoff rotation due to the compressed roster. I don’t think the bullpen guys are ‘as good (true talent ) ‘ as they ‘have been ( performance on field) and I have a hard time believing that a team with Leon/Vazquez, 2nd half Moreland , Kinsler/Holt, Nunez and JBJ aw 5/9 of the lineup and having the current rotation and bullpen outside fully fit Sale is the best in recent years much less all time. Again there’s no argument they’ve somehow produced results in excess of that
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
13,839
Maine
I think the Reds and Mets accomplishment is still more noteworthy given the different eras and their approaches to starting pitching. For teams in the era of aces throwing 250+ innings and double digit complete games, starters earned a lot more decisions then than they do now.

The 86 Mets had four starters that topped 200 innings and the 75 Reds had two, but this year's Sox staff won't have any (unless Porcello manages to throw 11 innings over the next five games). The Mets had 27 complete games (2nd in NL), the Reds 22 (last in NL!), and the Sox only 2 (4th in AL).

Another remarkable stat...the Reds used 12 total pitchers all year in 1975. There was a good stretch of this season where the Red Sox were regularly carrying 13 pitchers on the roster.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
43,561
But it's not like we manhandled the few good teams in the AL. We're 14-15 against the three 100-ish win AL teams with three left to play. It's more that we've been spectacular against the bad teams, which happen to be more plentiful than usual this season.
Some of them are more plentiful because we've been spectacular, natch.
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,751
But it's not like we manhandled the few good teams in the AL. We're 14-15 against the three 100-ish win AL teams with three left to play. It's more that we've been spectacular against the bad teams, which happen to be more plentiful than usual this season.
If you add in the games against other teams who are the top 10 in overall MLB standings - NL East champion Atlanta and Tampa Bay (who would be a wild-card contender most years) - the Sox record is 36-32 (.529).

Playing .500 ball against 95-100 win teams and .530 ball against all playoff-caliber teams is pretty damn good. I'm not going to dock them for beating up on the crappy teams like they should have.
 

mwonow

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
5,933
My dad used to quote Joe McCarthy as saying "break even with the contenders and kick the crap out of the second division." I think this year's Sox prove the wisdom of the adage!
 

santadevil

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
5,189
Saskatchestan
Wow, so because they're .500 against the other 3 100ish win teams and better against the worst teams, they really aren't as good

Let me show you this bridge I have for sale over here...
 

Cuzittt

Bouncing with Anger
Dope
Nov 20, 2001
20,301
Sinister Funkhouse #17
The whole meta-discussion regarding the fact that there are some historically bad teams to discount the fact that the Red Sox have been a historically good team is weird. A baseball outcome is a zero-sum game, there is always one win and one loss. So, if there are multiple teams with 100 wins, then, almost by definition, there has to be a bunch of teams with a lot of losses. This isn't Lake Wobegon, not everyone can be above average.

However, when one looks at the schedule and the outcome, it likely makes the Red Sox record look better than one might initially think. Because the unbalanced schedule makes it so that the plurality of their games are played against their division. And, in their division... they have the Yankees (who have the possibility to make 100 wins), the Devil Fishies (who could make 90 wins and would be a contender for the Division in the AL Central, NL East, NL West, and the NL Wild Card). They also have Toronto who isn't good, but isn't historically awful. And... well, the less said about Baltimore, the better.

No, the worst division in baseball is clearly the AL Central which has the Cleveland Indians winning their division by an absurd 15 1/5 games... because the other four teams in the division all have losing records. They have three teams in the division with over 90 losses (and all three will end up with more losses than Toronto even if Toronto loses every game the rest of the season).

Of course, you know what is odd about that? The Red Sox weren't particularly great against the AL Central - going 19-14 overall.

I clipped the following from BBRef and then ordered it by win percentage. I'm going to put some color to work to show how the teams are overall.

Playoff participants
Playoff Contenders
Bad Teams (over 90 losses)
Awful Teams (over 100 losses)

LAA 6 0 49 12 1.000
MIA 4 0 33 18 1.000
WSN 3 0 18 7 1.000
BAL 15 2 105 53 .882
TEX 6 1 39 24 .857
ATL 5 1 37 26 .833
KCR 5 1 53 30 .833
TOR 15 4 108 77 .789
DET 4 2 25 14 .667
NYM 2 1 9 14 .667
MIN 4 3 30 21 .571
SEA 4 3 38 29 .571
TBR 11 8 72 80 .579
NYY 9 7 95 81 .563
PHI 2 2 9 12 .500
CHW 3 4 22 27 .429
CLE 3 4 38 29 .429
HOU 3 4 31 34 .429
OAK 2 4 22 25 .333


A couple of other things that stand out by looking at the Red Sox and their record.

1) They crushed the NL winning 16 of 20 games. Which is an oddity this year, as the NL beat the AL as a whole.
2) September is currently their worst month by Percentage... at 13-8 (.619). Their second worse was May (.621).
3) They have not lost four games in a row this season.
4) They are fantastic in blowouts. (.706 Win % over 51 games) (2017 - .604 over 48 games)
5) They are very good in One-Run games (.641 over 39 games) (2017 - .537 over 41 games)
6) They are over .500 in Extra-inning games despite losing two over the weekend (8-5). (2017 - 15-3)

This may not feel like the best team we have witnessed. It may not have the best individual accomplishments we think we have seen. But... this team is really really solid. And, as the only team that has broached 100 games won in my lifetime, it is safe to say that it is certainly the best Regular Season team in my life time.
 

Cuzittt

Bouncing with Anger
Dope
Nov 20, 2001
20,301
Sinister Funkhouse #17
Now... someone mentioned that this isn't even the best Red Sox team over the past 15 years, let alone ever. Now, World Championships mean something and certainly add a certain allure to a team. This Red Sox team has not won anything in the postseason tournament of champions, so we can only look at the regular seasons. So... lets do so.

2018 - 106-51 (current), Pythag 100-57 (current), AL East Champions (Best record in Baseball)
2013 - 97-65, Pythag 100-62, AL East Champions (Best record in AL, tied with St. Louis for best record in Baseball)
2007 - 96-66, Pythag 101-61, AL East Champions (tied with Cleveland with best record in AL and in Baseball)
2004 - 98-64, Pythag 96-66, 2nd Place, AL East (Also 2nd Best record in AL, 3rd Best record in Baseball)

Obviously, with the Red Sox season still being played, the 2018 season records could still change for the better. The Red Sox had the best record in baseball in both 2007 and 2013... but were not the sole owner of that title. Based on these criteria, the 2018 Sox win the crown of best Regular season team.

So... what about other stat based arguments.

Team Offense:

2018: .267/.337/.450/.787 (1st/1st/1st/1st) (LG:.249/.318/.416/.734). OPS+: 111 (tied with Houston for 1st). Leads league in runs (833), Hits (1452), doubles (335). 2nd in League in SBs (120)
2013: .277/.349/.446/.795 (2nd/1st/1st/1st) (LG: .256/.320/.404/.725). OPS+: 116 (1st). Leads league in runs (853), doubles (363). 2nd in Hits (1566) and walks (581). Third in Triples (29) and SBs (123).
2007: .279/.362/.444/.806 (5th/2nd/3rd/2nd) (LG: .271/.338/.423/.761). OPS+: 107 (3rd). Led league in Walks (689) and doubles (tied - 352). 3rd in runs (867), 5th in hits (1561).
2004: .282/.360/.472/.832 (t1st/1st/1st/1st) (LG: .270/.338/.433/.771). OPS+: 110 (2nd to NYY). Led league in Runs (949), doubles (373). 2nd in Hits (1613) and walks (659). 4th in HRs (222).

Looking at these numbers, I can see where people have a disconnect. From a straight up pounding out runs stand point, the 2018 offense paled in comparison to 2004. And 2007. And, mostly, 2013. But... the offense that is walking to the plate is the best offense in the league. Pitching is better than it was... and we shouldn't lose sight of that. BTW, the 2018 HR offense is better than both 2013 and 2007... and with one HR over the final five games, will have 200 for the season.

Team Pitching:
2018: ERA: 3.67 (3rd - LG: 4.25), RA/G: 3.90 (3rd - LG: 4.54). 2 CGs. 14 team shutouts (2nd in league - 0 CGSO). 1.240 WHIP (7th - LG: 1.310), FIP: 3.79 (4th - LG 4.23), ERA+: 118 (2nd). 3rd Fewest hits allowed (1258), 3rd fewest HRs allowed (167). 3rd in Ks (1499). 2nd Most HBPs (80). 7th most Walks (495). Fewest WPs (48)
2013: ERA: 3.79 (6th - LG: 3.99), RA/G: 4.05 (6th - LG: 4.29). 5 CGs. 8 team shutouts (2 CGSO). WHIP: 1.300 (6th - LG: 1.318), FIP: 3.84 (7th - LG 3.97), ERA+: 109. 4th fewest hits allowed (1366). 5th fewest HRs allowed (156). 6th in Ks (1294). 4th WORST in BBs (524). 2nd fewest WPs (47)
2007: ERA: 3.87 (1st - LG: 4.50), RA/G: 4.06 (1st - LG: 4.82). 5 CGs. 13 team shutouts (1st - 3 CGSO). WHIP: 1.273 (1st - LG: 1.412), FIP: 4.14 (3rd - LG: 4.44), ERA+: 123 (1st). First in fewest hits allowed (1350). 3rd in Ks (1149). 5th fewest walks (482), t5th fewest HRs (151). Fewest WPs (33).
2004: ERA: 4.18 (3rd - LG: 4.63), RA/G: 4.74 (4th - LG: 4.99). 4 CGs. 12 Team Shutouts (1 GGSO). WHIP 1.293 (1st - LG 1.416), FIP 4.03 (2nd - LG - 4.53), ERA+: 116 (2nd). First in fewest hits allowed (1430), First in Fewest HRs allowed (159), 3rd in fewest walks allowed (447), 2nd in Ks (1132). 2nd Most HBPs (92). 3rd fewest WPs (39).

Mirroring the Offensive numbers... this year's team is the best via traditional components (ERA/WHIP). As shown by ERA+, it is probably the second best pitching team of the four.

If we try to look at it from perspective of ranks, 2018 and 2004 are very similar in that the Red Sox have a very good offense backed by a very good pitching staff. Which is unlike 07 (relatively poor offense) and 13 (relatively poor pitching).

OK... So, what else can we look at.

Three best qualified offensive players:
2018: Mookie Betts (OPS+: 186, .343/.434/.639), J.D. Martinez (OPS+: 172, .328/.402/.622), Xander Bogaerts (OPS+: 131, .286/.357/.509)
2013: David Ortiz (OPS+: 159, .309/.395/.564), Mike Napoli (OPS+: 128, .259/.360/.482), Daniel Nava (OPS+: 127, .303/.385/.445)
2007: David Ortiz (OPS+: 171, .332/.445/.621), Manny Ramirez (OPS+: 126, .296/.388/.493), Mike Lowell (OPS+: .324/.378/.501)
2004: Manny Ramirez (OPS+: 152, .308/.397/.613), David Ortiz (OPS+: 145, .301/.380/.603), Jason Varitek (OPS+: 121, .296/.390/.482)

Worst qualified offensive player:
2018: Eduardo Nunez (OPS+ 81, .264/.288/.389)
2013: Will Middlebrooks (OPS+: 87, .227/.271/.425)
2007: Julio Lugo (OPS+: 65, .237/.294/.349)
2004: Bill Mueller (OPS+: 106, .283/.365/.446)

Worst offensive player (81+ games played)
2018: Sandy Leon (OPS+: 40, .180/.236/.281). Vazquez is at 48 (76 GP) and Swihart at 63 (77 GP)
2013: Middlebrooks
2007: Lugo. Alex Cora ranked 2nd (OPS+: 75, .246/.298/.386 - 83 GP)
2004: Pokey Reese (OPS+: 46. .221/.271/.303 - 96 GP)

Two Best Starting Pitchers:
2018: Chris Sale (2.00 ERA, 1.98 FIP, 0.854 WHP, 216 ERA+), David Price (3.53 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 1.123 WHIP, 122 ERA+). Eovaldi ranks slightly better in all stats except WHIP (1.308) over 11 games.
2013: Clay Buchholz (1.74 ERA, 2.78 FIP, 1.025 WHIP, 237 ERA+), John Lackey (3.52 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 1.157 WHIP, 117 ERA+). Jon Lester ranked 2nd by FIP.
2007: Josh Beckett (3.27 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 1.141 WHIP, 145 ERA+), Curt Schilling (3.87 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 1.245 WHIP, 123 ERA+)
2004: Curt Schilling (3.26 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 1.063 WHIP, 148 ERA+), Pedro Martinez (3.90 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 1.171 WHIP, 124 ERA+)


Worst Starting Pitcher:
2018: Rick Porcello (4.33 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 1.183 WHIP, 100 ERA+). Arguably Drew Pomeranz belongs here... but he now has more games out of the pen than he has starts.
2013: Ryan Dempster (4.57 ERA, 4.68 FIP, 1.453 WHIP, 90 ERA+). Felix Doubront was fairly close (95 ERA+)
2007: Julian Tavarez (5.15 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 1.500 WHIP, 92 ERA+)
2004: Derek Lowe (5.42 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 1.615 WHIP, 89 ERA+) (Tim Wakefield has a higher FIP but everything else was better)

Two Best Relievers:
2018: Craig Kimbrel (2.21 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 0.967 WHIP, 195 ERA+), Matt Barnes (3.28 ERA, 2.74 WHIP, 1.193 WHIP, 132 ERA+). Of note, Hector Velazquez has a slightly lower ERA and the same ERA+ as Barnes. Ryan Brasier deserves some consideration as well (1.71 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 0.789 WHIP, 158 ERA+ - 29 innings fewer than Barnes)
2013: Koji Uehara (1.09 ERA, 1.61 FIP, 0.565 WHIP, 379 ERA+), Craig Breslow (1.81 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 1.123 WHIP, 229 ERA+). Junichi Tazawa and Andrew Miller each had better FIPs than Breslow, but not other components.
2007: Jonathan Papelbon (1.85 ERA, 2.45 WHIP, 0.771 WHIP, 257 ERA+), Hideki Okajima (2.22 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 0.971 WHIP, 215 ERA+). Hat Tip to Manny Delcarmen who beat Oki in ERA (2.05) and ERA+ (233) in 25 fewer innings.
2004: Keith Foulke (2.17 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 0.940 WHIP, 223 ERA+), Scott Williamson (1.26 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 1.012 WHIP, 388 ERA+)

Worst Reliever:
2018: Joe Kelly (4.50 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 1.359 WHIP, 96 ERA+)
2013: Clayton Mortensen (5.34 ERA, 4.83 FIP, 1.582 WHIP, 78 ERA+)
2007: Joel Pineiro (5.03 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 1.618 WHIP, 95 ERA+)
2004: Curt Leskanic (3.58 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 1.446 WHIP, 136 ERA+) (Timlin and Embree had worse ERA/ERA+ numbers but better FIP/WHIP. Lenny Dinardo and Terry Adams were arguably worse in a similar number of innings. There were a bunch of pitchers with 20 or fewer innings pitchers who were not considered. 2004 is fairly amazing to look at because seemingly no one got hurt anywhere)

So... where does that put us? Interpret the numbers as you want. I think the 2018 team can certainly be considered the best regular season team over the past 15. They clearly have the best top three offense. Arguably, they have the top offense period even with the catchers dragging stuff down. They don't have an other worldly top of the bullpen, but as a collective, it might be one of their better ones (2004 is inarguably better... 13 is almost certainly worse.) The starting pitching has Sale and then a bunch of decent/good. The team dismissed their starting anchor (Pomeranz) relatively quickly... as opposed to Lowe (04) or Tavarez (07). And, David Price is probably the best second best-pitcher in the four rotations.

So, yeah, I think this is the best regular season team I have been alive for.

PS: It's funny as you go through the stats and the figures and react to certain things. Like... I clearly don't recall the Allen Webster era at all. 8.60 ERA over seven starts in 2013.
 

ToeKneeArmAss

Paul Byrd's pitching coach
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Just catching up on this most interesting thread.

I feel compelled to point out that the 1912 team won 105 games in 152 decisions (two ties). This makes their winning percentage and run diff/game played even more impressive. In a 162 game season a team would need to win 112 to marginally surpass the 1912 team's winning percentage.

For a long time I thought one of the fascinating things about baseball was the ability to compare across eras, but I no longer feel that's true. Still, let's give those long-dead greats their due.

(And if like me your formative Red Sox years still extract the cloud behind every silver lining, you will note that the winningest regular season team in history, the 1906 Cubs (116 W-36 L), lost the World Series in six games to their cross-town rivals.)
 
Last edited:

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
43,561
This point would hold a lot more water if there weren’t three other 100 win teams in the same league.
I was kinda joking my man. It's a chicken or egg thing. Are they bad because there are a bunch of good teams or are there a bunch of good teams because they're so bad.

In the end, it doesn't actually matter.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
13,839
Maine
I feel compelled to point out that the 1912 team won 105 games in 152 games played (not 154 - two rainouts not made up). This makes their winning percentage and run diff/game played even more impressive. In a 162 game season a team would need to win 112 to marginally surpass the 1912 team's winning percentage.
Just a nitpick for accuracy's sake, it wasn't two rainouts. It was two full games that ended in ties.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
14,215
This point would hold a lot more water if there weren’t three other 100 win teams in the same league.
There aren't 3 other 100 win teams, there's 1. There might be a 2nd. There will not be a 3rd. On the flip side, there are only 2 teams with 100 losses, but 6 teams with less than 70 wins. Not uncommon to see seasons with 4 teams with less than 70, some with 5. I didn't check very far, but I haven't seen one with 6, so it's at least rare if not a first. Only one of those 6 being an historically bad team in the Orioles. Are the bad teams slightly worse or are they only worse because the good teams are slightly better?

If the Yankees do win 100, it'll be the first time 3 teams in the same league have won 100 games. I'm still not sure it tells you much. In 2002, there were 2 100 win teams in the AL and 3 teams with 100+ losses. There were also 4 other teams with 90+ wins, including Anaheim with 99. Is winning 97-98 games really that different than winning 100? Seems like an arbitrary cut off.

Just seems like you're punishing the Redsox because there are other great teams in the division. Would it be better if they were 114-48 and the 2nd best team went 92-70, no other team won 90, and only 6 teams had a record over .500?

Records are intertwined. If there are a few teams winning a lot, there are going to be a few teams losing a lot.
 

Beale13

lurker
Feb 2, 2006
68
There aren't 3 other 100 win teams, there's 1. There might be a 2nd. There will not be a 3rd. On the flip side, there are only 2 teams with 100 losses, but 6 teams with less than 70 wins. Not uncommon to see seasons with 4 teams with less than 70, some with 5. I didn't check very far, but I haven't seen one with 6, so it's at least rare if not a first. Only one of those 6 being an historically bad team in the Orioles. Are the bad teams slightly worse or are they only worse because the good teams are slightly better?

If the Yankees do win 100, it'll be the first time 3 teams in the same league have won 100 games. I'm still not sure it tells you much. In 2002, there were 2 100 win teams in the AL and 3 teams with 100+ losses. There were also 4 other teams with 90+ wins, including Anaheim with 99. Is winning 97-98 games really that different than winning 100? Seems like an arbitrary cut off.

Just seems like you're punishing the Redsox because there are other great teams in the division. Would it be better if they were 114-48 and the 2nd best team went 92-70, no other team won 90, and only 6 teams had a record over .500?

Records are intertwined. If there are a few teams winning a lot, there are going to be a few teams losing a lot.

100 is definitely arbitrary. But worst case scenario is two 100 win teams, and two in the very high 90's. And yes, their 110-ish wins would be more meaningful if the next best record was 92 wins, because it would indicate the Red Sox being the sole occupier of a top tier, rather than just having the best record among three other teams in the same tier with three teams in the second tier and every other team in a really bad bottom tier.

And I'm not punishing them, I'm merely pointing out that as fantastic as they've been, they might not be the best ever. This year was a perfect storm of the Red Sox being really good and so much of the rest of the league being really, really bad. I haven't crunched any numbers, but do you think this team is more talented than the 2004 Red Sox? Or 2007? Or 2003?

We have at least one complete black hole in the lineup, very suspect middle relief, we lost our ace pitcher essentially for the last two months of the season, and we lost our number 3/4 starter for two months. The Oakland A's started the season with the lowest payroll in baseball and lost their best pitcher a month ago. The Yankees lost their best hitter for a month and a half, had their ace almost completely lose his effectiveness for two months, and had a whole lot of other injury issues. Is it more likely that these teams are just that deep and all-world talented, or are their records maybe more the product of an unusually large and bad crop of bottom-dwellers?
 

Rasputin

Will outlive SeanBerry
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 4, 2001
29,174
Not here
I feel even more strongly about a five-game ALDS against the MFYs. If you want the full experience, imagine them celebrating going to the ALCS on the field at Fenway.
My reasons are not baseball reasons.

I really don't think we're going to have to worry about it with the Yankees. An LCS against the Astros that goes 7 would be epic and if I didn't have personal reasons not to want a game 7 or a rooting interest, I'd love a game 7.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
4,629
Boston, MA
As far as final numbers go I have these 8 as the top Run Diffs:

1912 +255 (154 games)
1949 +229 (155 games)
1950 +223 (154 games)
2018 +220 (157 games + 5 games remaining)
2007 +210 (162 games)
1903 +198 (156 games)
1946 +198 (156 games)
2013 +197 (162 games)

At 154 games 2018 were at +218, 2013 at +181 and 2007 at +197

This year's addition did set the record for earliest above +200 at Game 117 (2 games faster than 1912). They hit +225 after Game 129 but then treaded water a bit and peaked at +226 after game 147. The game previous to their peak (146) was the last time they led all Sox teams (+225).
Today should help the run differential.
 

uncannymanny

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 12, 2007
8,017
If that happens how will this thread recalibrate to conclude that the Astros are the better team?
 

santadevil

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
5,189
Saskatchestan
If that happens how will this thread recalibrate to conclude that the Astros are the better team?
/s

Well, it's super obvious...the Astros didn't win as many games, but that's only because the winning % in their division is higher than ours, so they had tougher opponents to play more often and the overall injuries they suffered were worse than ours

Actual records don't matter, only what possibly could have happened, given the right breaks
This is also why I'm such an amazing scratch golfer


/end s
 

djbayko

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
15,076
Waltham, MA
It's official. With tonight's win, the Orioles cannot break the modern record of 65.5 games out of first place.
 

Briz

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2011
1,509
NH
It's official. With tonight's win, the Orioles cannot break the modern record of 65.5 games out of first place.
Help me out, is that actually a bad thing on Buck's resume that he couldn't coach them to the record? He's polishing it up after all.
 

Cuzittt

Bouncing with Anger
Dope
Nov 20, 2001
20,301
Sinister Funkhouse #17
And I'm not punishing them, I'm merely pointing out that as fantastic as they've been, they might not be the best ever. This year was a perfect storm of the Red Sox being really good and so much of the rest of the league being really, really bad. I haven't crunched any numbers, but do you think this team is more talented than the 2004 Red Sox? Or 2007? Or 2003?
Maybe you should crunch some numbers. Or, just read my really long posts above. Because, while there may be a perfect storm... the Red Sox really didn't get so lucky. Yes, the O's suck. The Red Sox got to face them a lot. Fair point.

But, the Red Sox did not get to face the Royals, White Sox, Tigers, or Rangers that often (those would be the other four teams with 90+ losses). [As for Toronto... I think they are not a good team. But, they may hit 90 because they are in the AL East... having gone 15-39 (24 games under .500) against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays).]

As for whether this team is more talented than these prior Red Sox teams... I'm going to say maybe (leaning towards yes). The numbers support it. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez each put up a better season (per OPS+) than any other player on the '03, '04, '07, or '13 squads. Only 2003 Pedro compares to Chris Sale this season. In fact, as much as we aren't certain of the starting rotation right now... it is almost certainly the best complete rotation of these teams... because it is easy to forget the lowest ERA outside of Pedro in '03 was Tim Wakefield's 4.09. Or that Derek Lowe had a 5.42 ERA over 33 starts in '04. Or that Julian Tavarez had 23 starts in '07. Or that Ryan Dempster was a starter in '13... not to mention the Allen Webster experiment.

Leon is a black hole. A big giant sucking abyss. It is true. But, How quickly we forget about Pokey Reese. And Julio Lugo. And Will Middlebrooks. Yes, not quite as bad as Leon (although Reese was close)... but bad enough. Hell, Will Middlebrooks lost his job in the 2013 the post season to some kid named Xander Bogaerts; a player with 18 whole MLB games under his belt.

The three teams that have won recent World Series were not without their flaws. We have just forgotten them in the haze of victory. The 2018 team also has flaws. The flaws may mean that they don't win the World Series. In which case, we probably won't remember this team as fondly. Which is human nature.

But, yes, comparing the regular season records/stats... this team is not some pale imitation of a great team. It is a great team.
 

santadevil

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
5,189
Saskatchestan
Maybe you should crunch some numbers. Or, just read my really long posts above. Because, while there may be a perfect storm... the Red Sox really didn't get so lucky. Yes, the O's suck. The Red Sox got to face them a lot. Fair point.

But, the Red Sox did not get to face the Royals, White Sox, Tigers, or Rangers that often (those would be the other four teams with 90+ losses). [As for Toronto... I think they are not a good team. But, they may hit 90 because they are in the AL East... having gone 15-39 (24 games under .500) against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays).]

As for whether this team is more talented than these prior Red Sox teams... I'm going to say maybe (leaning towards yes). The numbers support it. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez each put up a better season (per OPS+) than any other player on the '03, '04, '07, or '13 squads. Only 2003 Pedro compares to Chris Sale this season. In fact, as much as we aren't certain of the starting rotation right now... it is almost certainly the best complete rotation of these teams... because it is easy to forget the lowest ERA outside of Pedro in '03 was Tim Wakefield's 4.09. Or that Derek Lowe had a 5.42 ERA over 33 starts in '04. Or that Julian Tavarez had 23 starts in '07. Or that Ryan Dempster was a starter in '13... not to mention the Allen Webster experiment.

Leon is a black hole. A big giant sucking abyss. It is true. But, How quickly we forget about Pokey Reese. And Julio Lugo. And Will Middlebrooks. Yes, not quite as bad as Leon (although Reese was close)... but bad enough. Hell, Will Middlebrooks lost his job in the 2013 the post season to some kid named Xander Bogaerts; a player with 18 whole MLB games under his belt.

The three teams that have won recent World Series were not without their flaws. We have just forgotten them in the haze of victory. The 2018 team also has flaws. The flaws may mean that they don't win the World Series. In which case, we probably won't remember this team as fondly. Which is human nature.

But, yes, comparing the regular season records/stats... this team is not some pale imitation of a great team. It is a great team.
Thank you! This is a post worth quoting
 
Dec 6, 2017
108
Ann Arbor, MI
Maybe you should crunch some numbers. Or, just read my really long posts above. Because, while there may be a perfect storm... the Red Sox really didn't get so lucky. Yes, the O's suck. The Red Sox got to face them a lot. Fair point.

But, the Red Sox did not get to face the Royals, White Sox, Tigers, or Rangers that often (those would be the other four teams with 90+ losses). [As for Toronto... I think they are not a good team. But, they may hit 90 because they are in the AL East... having gone 15-39 (24 games under .500) against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays).]

As for whether this team is more talented than these prior Red Sox teams... I'm going to say maybe (leaning towards yes). The numbers support it. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez each put up a better season (per OPS+) than any other player on the '03, '04, '07, or '13 squads. Only 2003 Pedro compares to Chris Sale this season. In fact, as much as we aren't certain of the starting rotation right now... it is almost certainly the best complete rotation of these teams... because it is easy to forget the lowest ERA outside of Pedro in '03 was Tim Wakefield's 4.09. Or that Derek Lowe had a 5.42 ERA over 33 starts in '04. Or that Julian Tavarez had 23 starts in '07. Or that Ryan Dempster was a starter in '13... not to mention the Allen Webster experiment.

Leon is a black hole. A big giant sucking abyss. It is true. But, How quickly we forget about Pokey Reese. And Julio Lugo. And Will Middlebrooks. Yes, not quite as bad as Leon (although Reese was close)... but bad enough. Hell, Will Middlebrooks lost his job in the 2013 the post season to some kid named Xander Bogaerts; a player with 18 whole MLB games under his belt.

The three teams that have won recent World Series were not without their flaws. We have just forgotten them in the haze of victory. The 2018 team also has flaws. The flaws may mean that they don't win the World Series. In which case, we probably won't remember this team as fondly. Which is human nature.

But, yes, comparing the regular season records/stats... this team is not some pale imitation of a great team. It is a great team.
I agree with everything except the fact that we won’t remember this team fondly. 107+ wins likely not being seen again would be enough to remeber them favorably (after some time to reflect). The historic/great seasons from Mookie, jd, and sale and the fact that they’re fun to cheer for guarantees that even if they lose to the Yankees in the Alds, we will still cherish this team.


P.s. As I wrote this, I realized the recent Boston sport’s run has made me a much more balanced person.
 

Cuzittt

Bouncing with Anger
Dope
Nov 20, 2001
20,301
Sinister Funkhouse #17
That was a badass lineup.
It is true that '04 was a fantastic lineup. But... It comes with a caveat. Only 7 players were in qualified position.

Which would put Mueller next to Devers (97), Ellsbury (113), and Varitek (103).

Of the players B-Ref reference as the other "starters", Kapler was at 77 and Pokey was at 48.
 

lapa

lurker
Apr 20, 2018
544
I saw an article recently was it James or Neyer who did the original but it compared teams positions for position to get a ‘W-L’ record , now that I think of it was it to work out if this years orioles were worst than some other old crap teams of yesteryear

It would be fun to throw in 2003/4/7/11/13/18 together and try to work out how those players stacked up relatively (both career wise and specific to the season in question)
 

Beale13

lurker
Feb 2, 2006
68
Maybe you should crunch some numbers. Or, just read my really long posts above. Because, while there may be a perfect storm... the Red Sox really didn't get so lucky. Yes, the O's suck. The Red Sox got to face them a lot. Fair point.

But, the Red Sox did not get to face the Royals, White Sox, Tigers, or Rangers that often (those would be the other four teams with 90+ losses). [As for Toronto... I think they are not a good team. But, they may hit 90 because they are in the AL East... having gone 15-39 (24 games under .500) against the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays).]

As for whether this team is more talented than these prior Red Sox teams... I'm going to say maybe (leaning towards yes). The numbers support it. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez each put up a better season (per OPS+) than any other player on the '03, '04, '07, or '13 squads. Only 2003 Pedro compares to Chris Sale this season. In fact, as much as we aren't certain of the starting rotation right now... it is almost certainly the best complete rotation of these teams... because it is easy to forget the lowest ERA outside of Pedro in '03 was Tim Wakefield's 4.09. Or that Derek Lowe had a 5.42 ERA over 33 starts in '04. Or that Julian Tavarez had 23 starts in '07. Or that Ryan Dempster was a starter in '13... not to mention the Allen Webster experiment.

Leon is a black hole. A big giant sucking abyss. It is true. But, How quickly we forget about Pokey Reese. And Julio Lugo. And Will Middlebrooks. Yes, not quite as bad as Leon (although Reese was close)... but bad enough. Hell, Will Middlebrooks lost his job in the 2013 the post season to some kid named Xander Bogaerts; a player with 18 whole MLB games under his belt.

The three teams that have won recent World Series were not without their flaws. We have just forgotten them in the haze of victory. The 2018 team also has flaws. The flaws may mean that they don't win the World Series. In which case, we probably won't remember this team as fondly. Which is human nature.

But, yes, comparing the regular season records/stats... this team is not some pale imitation of a great team. It is a great team.

Thank you for crunching some of those numbers for me. You make a good case for their current greatness by comparison, but I just want to be clear one more time. I do not think these Sox are at all a pale imitation of a great team - I think they are truly a great team. But that isn't the question of the thread, and it seems like maybe we're looking at the big shiny three digit win number and wanting to jump from great to best of all time, and all I'm saying is that maybe these Sox aren't quite that - even if they win the WS. I sense some snark in the Oriole's comment but wouldn't it be fair to say that the Orioles are the difference between the Sox being a 107 win team and a record a bit more conventionally, less-all-time great?
 

phenweigh

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 8, 2005
1,338
Brewster, MA
My opinion is that before the sport was fully integrated, none of those teams can qualify for best ever because top tier talent wasn't allowed in the league.

Although record shouldn't be the sole criteria, I think it's hard to argue that a team that finished 10+ games ahead of their competition for best ever Red Sox team would get beat out because of the other factors. Sure, it can be closer than only records indicate, but that's a huge gap and there are factors that work in the direction that this team could have even had a better record. Cora took his foot off the gas for most of September.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,902
Final Team Rankings - all of MLB

Runs scored: #1 (876, 25 ahead of #2 NYY)
Hits: #1 (1509, 59 ahead of #2 ChC)
Doubles: #1 (355, 33 ahead of #2 Oak)
Homers: #8 (208, 59 behind #1 NYY)
AVG: #1 (.268, 9 points ahead of #2 ChC)
OBP: #1 (.339, 4 points ahead of #2 Was)
SLG: #1 (.453, 2 points ahead of #2 NYY)
OPS: #1 (.792, 11 points ahead of #2 NYY)
SB: #3 (125, 10 behind #1 Cle)
SB%: #2 (80.13%, 2 hundredths behind #1 LAA)
ERA: #8 (3.76, 65 points behind #1 Hou)
Saves: #7 (46, 14 behind #1 Sea)
Save%: #9 (69.70, 5.30 points behind #1 Tex)
Quality Starts: #10 (85, 20 behind #1 Hou)
BAA: #8 (.237, 20 points behind #1 Hou)
Strikeouts: #4 (1558, 129 behind #1 Hou)
OPS against: #10 (.699, 59 points behind #1 Hou)

On the whole, the 2018 Red Sox were the very best offensive team in baseball, and an upper-tier pitching team. Now consider that much of the 2nd half they were without their best pitcher (Sale), and that many innings in the last month went to guys who won't see the light of day in the playoffs, and I think the staff is a little better than the numbers indicate.

Overall, as the results themselves show, this was a great, great baseball team in 2018.
 
Last edited:

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
7,456
NYC
On the whole, the 2018 Red Sox were the very best offensive team in baseball, and an upper-tier pitching team. Now consider that much of the 2nd half they were without their best pitcher (Sale), and that many innings in the last month went to guys who won't see the light of day in the playoffs, and I think the staff is a little better than the numbers indicate.
They also got ~200-250 total plate appearances less than expected from Betts and Bogaerts, two of their three most indispensable players — only 1,194 combined PA, compared to 1,449 in 2016.
 
Last edited:

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
17,884
Rogers Park
The Sox won 108 with a pythag that suggested a merely excellent 103 win team. So while this is the best Sox team by wins, it's the fourth best by W% and the third by pythagorean W%

This prompted a question, that led me to make a spreadsheet: this is the eleventh "luckiest" Red Sox team, as measured by the difference between W% and pythag W%.

Here is the Sox' W% – their pythag W% for franchise history.

(There's a tie for first between the excellent 1946 team and the abjectly terrible 1923 team — pythag W% of .355, our sixth worst result — which is interesting. That merely awful team could have been much worse!)

Code:
2018    0.032
2017    0.001
2016    -0.032
2015    -0.016
2014    -0.007
2013    -0.019
2012    -0.031
2011    -0.022
2010    0.006
2009    0.009
2008    -0.003
2007    -0.031
2006    0.034
2005    0.030
2004    0.009
2003    0.008
2002    -0.041
2001    -0.007
2000    -0.003
1999    0.011
1998    -0.015
1997    -0.016
1996    0.022
1995    0.040
1994    0.024
1993    0.002
1992    0.001
1991    0.007
1990    0.020
1989    -0.012
1988    -0.026
1987    -0.028
1986    0.03
1985    -0.048
1984    0.004
1983    0.012
1982    0.024
1981    0.011
1980    0.025
1979    -0.007
1978    0.020
1977    0.017
1976    -0.025
1975    0.041
1974    -0.005
1973    -0.011
1972    0.033
1971    0.009
1970    -0.002
1969    0.033
1968    0.029
1967    -0.006
1966    -0.006
1965    -0.041
1964    0.009
1963    -0.003
1962    0.006
1961    0.007
1960    -0.004
1959    -0.032
1958    0.009
1957    -0.003
1956    0.028
1955    -0.022
1954    -0.034
1953    0.032
1952    -0.013
1951    0.018
1950    0.00
1949    -0.009
1948    0.015
1947    0.005
1946    0.046
1945    0.015
1944    -0.041
1943    -0.019
1942    0.001
1941    -0.020
1940    0.007
1939    0.038
1938    0.008
1937    0.000
1936    -0.026
1935    0.019
1934    -0.026
1933    -0.041
1932    -0.014
1931    0.019
1930    -0.034
1929    0.004
1928    -0.007
1927    -0.010
1926    -0.025
1925    -0.029
1924    -0.023
1923    0.046
1922    0.009
1921    0.006
1920    0.004
1919    -0.028
1918    -0.005
1917    0.002
1916    0.029
1915    0.038
1914    0.029
1913    0.012
1912    0.022
1911    -0.016
1910    -0.029
1909    0.042
1908    -0.056
1907    -0.022
1906    0.002
1905    0.002
1904    -0.002
1903    0.008
1902    0.016
1901    -0.019
That sums to 0.025. Meaning that this year's over-performance takes us from a very slightly unlucky franchise to a lucky one. It's kind of amazing that after 12 decades its close enough that a single moderately lucky year can flip it one way or the other.