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The Boston Red Sox are riding a six-game win streak and the stats behind the victories prove this is no fluke.
The Boston Red Sox got swept by the Baltimore Orioles to open the 2021 season and some fans were acting like the sky was falling. The team has since won six straight to raise their record to 6-3 and hold a 1.5 game lead in the American League East.
The pitching is still not as lights out as fans would hope. But that doesn’t matter when the offense is scoring at an elite rate. The Red Sox have scored at least six runs in every game during the current six-game win streak and just scored 14 on Sunday.
So is this some sort of fluke start?
That does not appear to be the case because of one star player in particular. That would be J.D. Martinez, who is looking like an MVP candidate at the start of the season.
J.D. Martinez carrying the Red Sox lineup after rough 2020 season
Martinez already has five home runs and 17 hits in eight games. He had a total of seven home runs in 54 games last season.
The 2020 MLB season was a wash for the Red Sox. Martinez posting a -0.6 WAR only made things worse in what was a last-place finish for the team. But he was not the only star who looked off in 2020. Last year was a rare example of totally understanding why star athletes were not themselves on the playing field.
But things are different this season. Martinez exercised his 2021 player option during the offseason and is living up to the hype so far. And it is not just him. Christian Vazquez, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Enrique Hernandez are all putting up nice numbers as well. Alex Verdugo could be added to that list as well with his four doubles so far in eight games.
The Red Sox won the World Series in 2018 and still finished with a winning record in 2019. 2020 saw the team lose Alex Cora as manager and also deal with the loss of Mookie Betts. Add in a shortened season during a global pandemic and a bad year made sense.
This team remains stacked with talent in 2021 and Martinez is a legitimate star to carry the lineup. This is a player who hit 43 home runs in 2018 and 36 more in 2019. He hit three on Sunday alone and fans should be thrilled. Now the pitching staff needs to improve and this Red Sox team can be right back in the World Series conversation.