The Boston Red Sox have gone from cursed to victorious over the last 15 years. After struggling against the mighty Yankees and the Curse of the Bambino for 86 years the team overcame a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS against their bitter rival in 2004 before going on to finally win a World Series. That triumph was enough for those that had waited so long, but in 2007 the Sox once again lifted the World Series trophy. Most of those heroes had moved on by 2013, but David Ortiz was still around to give the Red Sox the boost they needed to claim another title, and in 2018 a new generation of Red Sox players were able to win the teams fourth World Series in a decade and a half.
Coming into the 2019 season the Sox are expected to once again make a deep playoff run and take aim at the World Series crown. Can you do the unthinkable and be the first team to retain their championship since the three-peat '98-'00 Yankees?
*All stats correct at time of writing
The Show 19 doesn't give you a single team OVR to compare teams like other sports games, instead you have a series of rankings around different aspects of the team and one overall ranking for the team. The Red Sox do not rank as highly as you would expect, coming in 12th overall. Their best aspect is their contact skill, which ranks 6th. The worst is their overall team speed which comes in 25th.
One thing you don't have to worry about with the Sox is money. At $256 million their team budget is easily the highest in The Show 19. So if they are spending all this money who are they spending it on? Who are the best players on the Boston Red Sox when you take over the team?
Mookie Betts, Right Fielder (OVR 99)
Contract: 1 year/$20 million + 1 year Arbitration
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Clutch (99), Fielding (99), Reaction (95), Arm Strength (92), Contact vs L (90), Contact vs R (87), Vision (87)
Mookie Betts was a fifth-round pick for the Red Sox in 2011 and made his MLB debut with Boston in 2014. He was an everyday starter in the outfield by 2015 and an All-Star and MVP candidate by 2016. Betts claimed his first of three gold gloves in 2016 and in 2018 won the AL MVP with a .346 average, 32 homers, 30 stolen bases, and a 1.8 dWAR.
In The Show 19 Betts is a terrific player. His fielding (99) is elite and comes with superb reactions (95) and the arm strength (92) to throw runners out across the diamond. At the plate Betts brings excellent contact skill (87/90) and is brilliant in the clutch (99). Betts is on a 1-year, $20 million deal for 2019 and is eligible for arbitration in 2020, but with his free agent clock ticking away it would be wise to lock down his talents as quickly as possible.
Chris Sale, Starting Pitcher (OVR 96)
Contract: 5 years/$133.4 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), Stamina (97), Control (95), K/9 (89), Clutch (83), Velocity (82)
Chris Sale was a first-round pick for the Chicago White Sox in 2010 and made 8 appearances that year for the Major League club in the bullpen. His bullpen work continued in 2011 when he appeared in 58 games, throwing 71 innings with a 2.79 ERA and picking up 8 saves. In 2012 he moved into the rotation and was an instant hit, throwing 192 innings in 29 starts with a 3.05 ERA, 192 strikeouts, and 17 wins. That year Sale finished 6th in Cy Young voting, his worst placement to date. It was also his first year as an All-Star and he has been a fixture ever since. In 2018 Sale made 27 starts for the Red Sox with a 2.11 ERA, 237 strikeouts, and a 12-4 record. Sale is also the all-time leader in K/9 with a career mark of 10.8.
In The Show 19 Chris Sale is a dominant pitcher. He doesn't have the high velocity (82) of others but his break (99) and control (95) make him deadly to any hitter and his slider is one of the best strikeout pitches in the game. Sale has the stamina (97) to pitch all day too.
JD Martinez, Left Fielder (OVR 89)
Contract: 4 years/$88 million
Hitter Tendency: Extreme Pull
Best Stats: Contact vs L (99), Clutch (99), Power vs R (96), Durability (92), Power vs L (90), Contact vs R (88)
JD Martinez was a 20th round pick for the Houston Astros in 2009 and got his MLB debut with them in 2011. Martinez moved to Detroit in 2014 and had his first 30+ homer season in 2015. In 2017 he got a mid-season trade to Arizona and then signed a big free agent deal with Boston ahead of the 2018 season. In his first year in Fenway Martinez mashed 43 homers, picked up 130 RBI and had a .330/.402/.629 slashline.
In The Show 19 Martinez is an elite power hitter (96/90) who also has excellent contact skills (88/99) and is phenomenal in the clutch (99). Martinez's fielding (45) is pretty dire so he will man the DH spot for the most part but he can be used to give the corner outfielders a night off from time to time.
Boston Red Sox MLB Roster
Be aware that there are some minor fluctuations in OVR from save to save within Franchise Mode, however the baseline stats remain consistent. Let's start our look at the teams MLB roster with the Red Sox position players and then the pitchers.
|Player||OVR||Position||Age||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Mookie Betts||99||RF||26||R||90 (L)||77 (L)||99||77|
|JD Martinez||89||LF||31||R||99 (L)||96 (R)||45||45|
|Xander Bogaerts||84||SS||26||R||79 (R)||66 (R)||63||61|
|Andrew Benintendi||84||LF||24||L||82 (R)||56 (R)||65||61|
|Dustin Pedroia||84||2B||35||R||86 (L)||44 (L)||78||34|
|Steve Pearce||81||1B||35||R||76 (L)||71 (L)||70||36|
|Jackie Bradley Jr||78||CF||28||L||62 (R)||64 (R)||75||61|
|Sandy Leon||75||C||30||S||58 (L)||51 (L)||81||2|
|Eduardo Nunez||75||3B||31||R||81 (R)||48 (R)||45||56|
|Christian Vazquez||74||C||28||R||60 (L)||36 (R/L)||80||21|
|Mitch Moreland||71||1B||33||L||60 (L)||75 (R)||73||21|
|Brock Holt||69||2B||30||L||64 (R)||45 (R)||68||39|
|Rafael Devers||68||3B||22||L||67 (L)||71 (R)||52||53|
The Red Sox MLB roster has 13 position players and 12 pitchers. That's a 5-man starting rotation, 7 in the bullpen, and just a 4-man bench for the position players.
The lineup is strong, anchored by the talents of Mookie Betts (contact L 90, contact R 87) and JD Martinez (contact L 99, power R 96). Xander Bogaerts (contact R 79, power R 66), Andrew Benintendi (contact R 82, power R 56), and Dustin Pedroia (contact L 86, contact R 84) will also be key producers for you, while Rafael Devers (power R 71, contact L 67) can provide some pop in the bottom of the order.
With a thin bench it could be an idea to move someone like Brian Johnson or Erasmo Ramirez to Triple-A and call up an extra outfielder so you can make a defensive substitution if you have a nice lead and JD Martinez is in the field or someone gets hurt. The infield is well manned as both Eduardo Nunez (contact R 81, contact L 70) and Brock Holt (fielding 68, contact R 64) are capable of playing solid defense around the diamond while you have a platoon at first and two good catchers.
In the starting rotation you have an ace in Chris Sale (break 99, stamina 97) and a very good #2 in David Price (break 94, stamina 86). Rick Porcello (stamina 90, break 88), Eduardo Rodriguez (break 88, velocity 78), and Nathan Eovaldi (velocity 92, control 82) are reasonable 3-5's so there is no immediate need to jump into the trade market for another starter, but if someone gets injured then it could be tricky to effectively replace them with what you have on staff.
The Red Sox bullpen lacks a true closer after allowing Craig Kimbrel to leave in free agency. At the time of writing he is still unsigned and available so you could well add him to your roster and give you a fearsome option at the end of games. Matt Barnes (break 99, velocity 86) and Carson Smith (velocity 86, break 80) are you most reliable arms, with Erasmo Ramirez (stamina 66, control 72) currently filling the long relief spot. The bullpen currently only has one lefty in Brian Johnson (control 65, break 62) so finding another is a good idea.
MLB The Show 19 gives you 4 basic lineups to set. Right-handed pitcher with DH, right-handed pitcher without DH, and then the same options against a lefty.
Against right-handed pitchers with the DH The Show 19 puts Eduardo Nunez at 3rd in the leadoff spot followed by Dustin Pedroia, JD Martinez, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Steve Pearce, Jackie Bradley JR, and Christian Vazquez.
Without the DH it moves Benintendi into center field to make room for JD Martinez in left and benched Bradley.
Against a lefty with the DH it puts Benintendi at the top of the order followed by Pedroia, Martinez, Betts, Pearce, Rafael Devers, Bogaerts, Bradley, and Sandy Leon.
Without the DH The Show 19 makes the same move of putting Benintendi in center field and benched Bradley so Martinez can play left and stay in the lineup. Are these the best lineups you can put together? Of course not.
The biggest thing we have done here is put Mookie Betts in center field without a DH. His superior fielding, speed, and reaction to Andrew Benintendi should give us better defense overall. We have moved Benintendi to the leadoff spot against righties thanks to his 82 contact vs righties and have also started Rafael Devers and put him in position to drive in Xander Bogaerts and Steve Pearce.
Against lefties Benintendi drops to seventh in the order and Eduardo Nunez takes over the hot corner from Devers to lead off. He's got 70 contact vs lefties with enough speed to get home when Pedroia, Martinez, and Betts start hammering the ball. We've also started Sandy Leon against lefties as it is a good way to get an automatic rotation to your catchers and not tire them out by mistake.
The farm system is inconsistent in MLB The Show 19. The slight variations in OVR and potential rating from save to save make it tough to know who your star Minor Leaguers are before you even start. The Red Sox farm system has been drained of late thanks to trading for Chris Sale and picking up the likes of Eduardo Nunez and Steve Pearce, but there is still some talent there as well as some useful pieces for injury cover. You also aren't going to see the Sox real life top prospects, so if you were hoping to call up Michael Chavis or Darwinzon Hernandez then you will be disappointed. However there are some useful players and known faces within the Red Sox farm system on The Show 19.
Raleigh Alonso, Closing Pitcher (OVR 73)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup
Best Stats: H/9 (80), Break (79), Velocity (68), HR/9 (67)
Raleigh Alonso could well be the answer to Boston's closer situation at some point. He has a nice three-pitch repertoire with solid break (79) already. He doesn't have ideal control (53) or clutch (50) stats so he is not MLB-ready, but come season 2 he could well be ready to take a spot in the bullpen and develop into the eventual closer of the future.
Blake Swihart, Catcher (OVR 71)
Hitter Tendency: Whole Field
Best Stats: Arm Accuracy (88), Arm Strength (83), Durability (82), Discipline (67), Contact vs R (58)
Blake Swihart has been up and down between Boston and the Minor Leagues for a while now, but was recently moved by Boston so he may not be on their The Show 19 roster for long. He has a nice arm behind the plate (arm accuracy 88, arm strength 83) and the durability (82) to play regularly. His hitting isn't great but he has ok contact skills (58/50) and is ready to play in the Majors now. If you can't find a spot for him ahead of Sandy Leon or Christian Vazquez then you should use him as a trade chip to find bullpen help.
Barry Coles, Left Fielder (OVR 64)
Hitter Tendency: Whole Field
Best Stats: Baserunning Aggressiveness (84), Speed (77), Vision (76), Contact vs R (75)
Barry Coles is perhaps the best option for a quick-call up in the outfield. He has one MLB-ready hitting stat (contact vs R 75) and enough speed (77) to cover for some of his defensive weaknesses (fielding 41, arm strength 45). Gorkys Hernandez is more defensive-minded if you are looking for an immediate 5th outfielder for the MLB roster, but Coles could well develop into a solid player for the Red Sox eventually.