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Win Big or Lose Big

The current counter sits at twelve games the Red Sox have played in the 2022 season and their record stands at 6-6. After three-and-a-half series against the Yankees, Tigers, Twins and now Blue Jays, the Red Sox have started carving out their identity.

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Their bats have been steadily getting better as a team, led by Rafi Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo. The team as a whole is batting a combined .232, which is an improvement from their .173 only 10 days ago. Kike Hernandez, Trevor Story and especially Jackie Bradley Jr. have been back in the hitting column, signaling the emergence of the bottom-third of the lineup. If the bottom-third continues to provide at an above-average rate as they are right now it's a tremendous sign for how our bats will continue to progress through the season.

Another positive note is the amount of strikeouts the Sox haven't been getting. Ninety-nine strikeouts is good for ninth best in the league. Verdugo and Devers are both on league-best strikeout rates of 10% and 13% respectively. The Sox have been disciplined at the plate, a mantra that started as soon as Alex Cora headed this team in 2018.

All this goes to show that the Sox aren't perfect by any stretch, but they are on a good roll right now and are only getting better. This is clear as day when you focus just on their wins. The average margin of victory in their six wins so far has been 3, including an 8-1 route of the Twins on April 17th. Going back to strikeouts, the Sox are averaging only six a game during their wins, a number considerably lower than the ten-plus per game in their losses.

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The losses splits are as interesting as the wins. They are only averaging two and two-thirds runs per loss, a mark that sets them almost at the bottom of the league. They also are averaging only one and two-thirds walks per loss which carries the same weight. In their six losses so far, their average margin of defeat is just over three, with their worse loss of the season happening yesterday, losing to the Blue Jays by a score of 6-1.

The most intriguing stat when looking at the Red Sox wins versus their losses is a stat called "League's Split OPS+". This stat measures a team's OPS+, (a stat that encompasses how good a hitter is based on a score of 100, any higher signaling the hitter is good and any lower signaling the hitter is not,) based on a split stats which in this case will be wins and losses. The Red Sox team sOPS+ on wins is 75, meaning they were poor hitters during their wins. Contrastingly, their team sOPS+ during losses is 124, meaning their hitting was very good during their losses.

All this is to say the Red Sox have had a very "up-and-down" season so far. They win 8-1 and then lose 3-8 the next day. This article has not touched on the pitching because even though it is just as causing for their sporadic start, it is an issue that deserves a dive-in separately. The team is about to start a 10-game road trip against divisional rivals which is the opposite of what you want when your team starts inconsistently.

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