Why Boston Red Sox are World Series champs
The Boston Red Sox steamrolled the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games on Sunday to captured their ninth World Series championship in franchise history and fourth since 2004 thus, completing one of the most impressive postseason runs in the last few decades.
Though the2018 the Red Sox don’t have been as many All-Stars as other teams, between their regular season and postseason success, they should be remembered as one of the best teams of the MLB expansion era.
Records reveal that since all MLB teams began playing a 162-game regular season in 1962, only one team has won more regular season games and en route to marching triumphantly, too, to the World Series.
The 1998 New York Yankees did the trick by winning 114 regular season games.
The 1970 Baltimore Orioles, 1975 Cincinnati Reds and 1986 New York Mets won the same amount of regular season games as the Red Sox — 108 — while winning the WS. The ’70 Orioles went 7-1 in the postseason; the ’75 Reds needed seven games to win the World Series; and the ’86 Mets went 8-5 in the playoffs and needed help from Buckner to win it all.
This year’s Boston Red Sox went 108-54 (.667) in the regular season and 11-3 (.786) in the postseason making their road to the World Series championship as to have been the toughest.
Only seven times in MLB history have three teams won 100 games during the regular season. This was one of those years, with all three teams coming in the American League — Houston Astros with 103 wins and New York Yankees with 100 wins.
Boston, therefore, had to navigate arguably the toughest playoff road ever just to reach the World Series. And they didn’t just navigate; they mowed through.
The Red Sox beat the Yankees in four games in the ALDS, a Yankee team that ranked second in the league behind Boston in runs scored during the regular season and had the reigning AL and National League MVPs in their lineup.
Not only did Boston beat them in four games, closing the series on the road, but they also handed the Yankees their worst postseason loss in franchise history — an embarrassing 16-1 defeat in Game 3.
Next up, the Red Sox faced the defending World Series champion Astros, who had won 103 games in the regular season, and were fresh from sweeping an excellent Cleveland Indians squad and had an extremely highly regarded pitching staff.
The Astros had the best team ERA in MLB at 3.11 — 0.27 runs better than the second-place Dodgers. They were over half a run better than the next best team in the AL. Leading all of MLB despite being in the AL and having to face the DH is astounding. The Astros, too, also had the most strikeouts and lowest batting average against.
Despite all that, Houston’s staff was no match for Boston’s hot hitting. After losing Game 1, Boston racked up four straight wins over the Astros — lighting them up for 27 runs in those games (6.75 runs per game). They won three in a row in Houston and beat former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander in the Game 5 clincher. They also won Game 3 8-2 that was started by Dallas Keuchel, another former Cy Young winner.
In the World Series, the Red Sox beat a heavily reinforced Dodgers squad, which made numerous mid-season trade acquisitions, smashing nearly every pitcher thrown their way. Their only loss came in a 3-2 heartbreaker that lasted 18 innings in Game 3. They came back from down 4-0 in the seventh to win Game 4 and clinched it all by beating another former Cy Young winner in Clayton Kershaw.
Boston clinched all three series on the road and beat two Cy Young winners in those clinchers.
Few — if any — MLB teams have faced a tougher road in the playoffs and not many have made it look easier. The Boston Red Sox led MLB in runs during the regular season, led the league with 108 wins in the regular season and needed no more than five games to beat any of their three formidable playoff opponents. They went wire-to-wire as the best team in the league.