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Promote happiness support for multiple suggest, that treating dog without through the holidays while Red Sox fans were largely frustrated at how it took to land their big slugger. That doesn't matter on paper, but it understandably led to enthusiasm gap. Another part of it is that, while the Yankees weaknesses, such as they are, involve questions like this player be as good 2018 as we think he'll be, the Red Sox weaknesses are characterized terms of can this old player show that he's still good and capable of being healthy all year? Again, on paper, there's a lot of reason to think that, say, Pedroia, Price and Hanley Ramirez can be more valuable, the aggregate, than, say, Drury, Gleyber Torres and Bird, but it's nowhere near as exciting to ask those questions as it is to project greatness on talent. All of that is the perception game, though, right? Hopefully everyone can agree that the 2018 Boston Red Sox are a playoff team and should challenge for the division title all year Most of the reason to think of that is that core. Betts finished 6th the MVP voting what was supposedly a down year. That down, by the way, was mostly a function of bad luck on balls play. The 's a beast. is a gold glove talent outfielder. Benintendi was projected to win the Rookie of the Year last year and, a lot of years, would have. Those three, Devers and Bogaerts, who took a step back 2017 largely due to a wrist injury, all have room to improve. That's downright scary Betts' case and downright encouraging the case of everyone With Martinez plopped into the middle of the lineup to add that much needed power, the Red Sox lineup should improve 2018. That after being sixth the 2017, despite the league's worst power. Not that there aren't questions. Pedroia is coming off his worst and not be ready for Opening Day. He is said to look good light work this whatever that means. It's unreasonable to think that he'll be the Pedroia of old when he returns, but it's not crazy to think that he can contribute more than he did 2017, which was his worst as a big leaguer. First base consist of some combination of Moreland and Hanley Ramirez. That's not the most inspiring thing the world, even if Ramirez claims to be a new man better shape, yadda yadda, etc. etc. The performance of those two 2017 was a big reason they needed to go find someone like J.D. Martinez this year. But again, improvement is not out of the question. There are questions the rotation too, also focusing on health and durability. Chris Sale was the leader the clubhouse for the Cy Award last before sputtering to the finish line the 's final month. Did he wear out? Striking out as guys as he did is a lot of work, that's for sure. It's also the case, however, that people have been predicting that Sale's beanpole frame fail him for pushing a decade. It hasn't failed yet. He's the last one that rotation you really have to worry about view. More troublesome were the seasons of Porcello and Price. Porcello followed up his Cy campaign with a 4 17-loss, tater-iffic Price was hurt much of the year and took a lot of heat from the Boston press as he recovered When he did pitch he was fine, finishing with a 3 and a K BB ratio 74 innings, but he only made 11 starts and five relief appearances all year. His playoff redemption has to give Sox fans some hope heading into this year and a return to even his 2016 form give the Sox a big boost. It seems totally reasonable to expect at least that. Drew Pomeranz enjoyed his best the bigs 2017. An early training flexor strain looks to be a mild thing, but obviously the Red Sox are crossing their fingers that Pomeranz does not return to his once-fraglie state. New manager is much the same boat as his counterpart New York: win or get the blame. Each is inheriting excellent team which made a offseason addition. Each is expected to make a deep playoff run. Unlike Boone, just came off of one, coaching the Astros. Those two be a good case study the value of a new manager and dealing with extraordinary expectations a new gig. Because players are more likely to improve than old, injured players are likely to return to form, I'm leaning to the Yankees the East this year. But that is no slight to the Red Sox. These two clubs, along with the Astros, are the class of the American