The title defense starts now.
The Red Sox have their work cut out for them as they aim to repeat as World Series champions. They'll be playing with a target on their back following a dominant 108-win season, and there are some real question marks heading into the new campaign.
Perhaps the biggest one is the bullpen. While manager Alex Cora remains optimistic about life without closer Craig Kimbrel, there's a worrisome void in the ninth inning until someone (Matt Barnes? Ryan Brasier?) steps up. Meanwhile, the Yankees continue to boast arguably the best bullpen in baseball, and the Astros certainly aren't going anywhere either.
So with those concerns in mind, how do the Red Sox stack up with the rest of the league to begin the 2019 season? Let's find out. . .