ESPN picks: No faith in the Red Sox
April, 4, 2012
What a difference a year makes.
When ESPN.com pundits made their predictions for the 2011 season last April, and overwhelming 33 of those polled picked the Red Sox to win the World Series. And of the 12 folks who predicted someone else would win, nine had Boston losing in the Fall Classic. So that was 42 of the 45 experts predicting the Red Sox would at least reach baseball's biggest stage.
This year, in the wake of last season's collapse and front office overhaul, the contrast could not be more striking.
Of the 49 experts (see all the picks here), just one -- Baseball Tonight's Karl Ravech -- has the Red Sox winning the World Series. Just one person -- ESPN Fantasy Games' Matthew Berry -- has them winning the AL East, and only 15 people predict they will take home one of the two wild cards in the American League. Of those 15 pundits, just one picks them to win the one-game wild card playoff and advance to the ALDS.
Former Sox skipper Terry Francona was among those picking the Sox to win one of the wild cards. Not on that list was former Sox ace and vocal Bobby Valentine critic Curt Schilling, who had the Yankees winning the East and the Angels and Rays winning the wild cards.
What do you think of these picks? Should the Sox be getting more love? Vote in the poll above and sound off in the comments section.