4. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox may be one of the more frustrating teams when it comes to the 2021 MLB predictions. This is a team with talent, but it just does not seem to be enough to contend for a postseason berth.
The Red Sox are going to put up runs. The middle of their lineup is still solid, even if their Killer B outfield is gone. Maybe the roster is not what it was, but Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and a healthy J.D. Martinez are still a solid trio.
Boston’s question is virtually everything else. The bullpen, which was a disaster last year, is not any better. The Red Sox rotation is filled with question marks, especially as Chris Sale will be lost for a portion of the upcoming season. Additionally, the rest of the lineup has talent, but has yet to really reach their potential.
If everything breaks right for the Red Sox, they can contend in 2021. However, it is far more likely that they fade away, settling in as the fourth place team in a tough division.
3. Toronto Blue Jays
Unlike the Red Sox and Orioles, the Blue Jays are out of their rebuild. However, they still need a couple more pieces to truly contend.
The lineup is already formidable with the potential to become even better. Toronto’s second generation stars have stepped up and begun to carry the offense. The additions of George Springer and Marcus Semien make that lineup even more dangerous, as the Blue Jays should put up plenty of runs.
Their issue is with their pitching staff. Hyun-Jin Ryu is a solid top of the rotation arm, but the Blue Jays desperately need a viable second and third option. That could come in the form of their pitching prospects, but Nate Pearson is battling injuries. The same can be said of the bullpen, where closer Kirby Yates will miss multiple weeks of the season.
The Toronto Blue Jays are close. If they can add another arm or two at the trade deadline, they may be able to sneak into the postseason.