What did Red Sox hit in 2018 and where did they hit?
Champion Sawx will continue to be investigated by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for the illegal theft of signs – the very crime for which his immediate predecessor, the Astros 2017, was convicted.
Alex Cora, the manager of the former team and the bank coach of the latter, is a common thread. Manfred identified him as the pioneer of the "17 Astros" program, and a suspension of at least one year seems very likely. Cora and the Red Sox split up a day after Manfred published his report on these Astros.
The Red Sox owner and all-star J.D. Martinez have hinted that her team is coming out flawlessly, and at a superficial level you can see why. For starters, no one has put his name on these allegations, any more than 17 Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, nor has there been a video about smoking weapons, any more than Trash Can Banging of these Astros against White Sox and Danny Farquhar ( courtesy of social media) media detective @Jomboy_).
What about the statistics? The Athletic plunged deep into the 17 Astros, which showed how dramatically – and very historically – the team improved when it came into contact. In particular, their 365 team strike reduction was by far the largest in the live ball era (from 1920). And this decline was mainly due to an improvement at home (by 242 strikes compared to 123 on the street) where the sign theft system was fully functional.
So let's turn to the Red Sox. They stood out even more in 2018 (1,253) than in 2017 (1,224). They nevertheless became a superior offensive team and increased their slash line from .258 / .329 / .407 to .268 / .339 / .453. They hit .482 at home compared to .412 in ’17 and .426 on the street (.401 in ’17).
The "18 Red Sox", like the "17 Astros" (and also the "18 Astros"), did extremely well with runners in the top scoring position, which is interesting because the public accusations are that the "18 Bosox" – Program operated only with runners based. According to Elias Sports Bureau, with runners in the classification position, the ’18 Red Sox cut .300 / .385 / .524 and .274 / .372 / .453 on the road at home. In the same situations, the ’17 Red Sox recorded a slash of .287 / .375 / .430 and .266 / .354 / .442 on the street at home.
These statistical divisions don't scream as loud as the 16-17 Astros anywhere, and recall that Boston added Martinez for the 18 season, a blessing regardless of illegal gimmicks. We'll find out shortly if these numbers, combined with anything else the investigators can find, speak loudly enough to cause this crown to tarnish.