Boston Red Sox

Will Red Sox exceed expectations? Simulating the 2024 season

Strat-O-Matic's Red Sox projections won't inspire much optimism ahead of Opening Day.

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The Boston Red Sox will open their 2024 season Thursday night in Seattle. They enter the campaign with low expectations following their second straight last-place finish and yet another disappointing offseason.

Nonetheless, Opening Day represents a clean slate. The Red Sox will look to quiet the naysayers and sneak into the playoffs -- which now feature three Wild Card spots -- for the first time since their surprise ALCS appearance in 2021.

Most sportsbooks have the Red Sox' win total over/under set at 77.5. If they finish with 77 wins or fewer, it'll mark their worst record (not counting the shortened 2020 season) since 2014 when they went 71-91.

So will the Red Sox finish in the cellar for a third consecutive year, or will they be a pleasant surprise? Our partners at Strat-O-Matic simulated the 2024 MLB season to find out. Here are the results...

There you have it, the worst Red Sox record since 2014. Boston finishes at the bottom of the American League East for the third straight year and at this point, fans are outside Fenway Park with pitchforks.

To make matters worse, the New York Yankees return to the top of the division with an exceptional 99-win season. They cruise to their 21st AL East title with a nine-game advantage over the second-place Tampa Bay Rays.

Surprisingly, the Baltimore Orioles finish with a mediocre 82-80 record after winning 101 games in 2023. The Toronto Blue Jays take a significant step back with only 79 wins, their first losing season since 2019.

Rafael Devers holds up his end of the bargain in another rough Red Sox season. He leads the team in home runs (29) and RBI (73) while posting an .821 OPS. Those are actually down numbers by his standards, but they're still enough to make him Boston's 2024 MVP.

Triston Casas' production falls off slightly in his second full MLB season. The 24-year-old first baseman sees his OPS dip from .856 in 2023 to a modest .759. Even so, he's one of the bright spots in the Red Sox' subpar lineup.

Finally healthy, Trevor Story enters the season with high hopes as he looks to live up to the six-year deal he signed in 2022. Unfortunately, it's another letdown season for the two-time All-Star shortstop. He provides some pop in the lineup with 26 homers and 68 RBIs but hits just .228 with a less-than-stellar .711 OPS.

The newcomers Tyler O'Neill and Vaughn Grissom give Sox fans something to cheer about during the abysmal campaign. O'Neill belts 22 homers to go with a solid .789 OPS while Grissom amasses an .826 OPS -- the best mark on the team despite hitting only six homers.

Masataka Yoshida's second season in Boston is a continuation of his second-half struggles in 2023. He notches 14 homers but hits just .262 with a concerning .698 OPS.

Eliminated from playoff contention for the third straight year, the Red Sox watch division rivals New York and Tampa Bay compete for a World Series title. Both AL East clubs fall in the Division Series. The Yankees fall in five games to the AL Central champion Minnesota Twins and the Rays lose their five-game series vs. the Houston Astros.

Houston's eighth straight ALCS appearance results in its fifth trip to the World Series in that span as it sweeps the Twins. Meanwhile in the National League, a battle between two powerhouses ends with the Atlanta Braves sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Astros fail to exact revenge on the Braves for the 2021 World Series. Atlanta is victorious again, this time taking Houston down in five games.

Adding insult to injury

As if the 74-88 record wasn't enough, Red Sox fans won't be thrilled with Strat-O-Matic's MVP award projections. The simulation has Yankees slugger Aaron Judge earning MVP honors in the AL and former Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, now with the Dodgers, winning it in the NL.

Aaron Judge: .267, 48 homers, 113 RBI, .962 OPS
Mookie Betts: .281, 40 homers, 118 RBI, .945 OPS

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