After the Red Sox World Series victory in October of 2018 and the Patriots Super Bowl triumph just a few months later, Boston sports teams have had minimal success. The Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in May. The Bruins suffered a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals soon after. The Red Sox failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015 and then traded Mookie Betts, arguably a top-three player in the MLB, in a salary dump. Even the Patriots, who always seem to come through in some way, failed to make the AFC Championship for the first time since the 2010 season. Here is a ranking of the current state of the four Boston sports teams and predictions on which of the teams have the best chances of winning it all in the near future.
1. Boston Bruins
I don’t think that there is any doubt that the Bruins are currently the best team in Boston. They currently sit at the top of the NHL standings with 90 points and are showing no signs of slowing down. They strengthened their team further at the trade deadline, bringing in speedy winger Ondrej Kase from the Ducks (and getting rid of David Backes and his bad contract in the process) and swapping Danton Heinen for a cheaper and better player in a Nick Ritchie, also from the Ducks. The Bruins are led by the best line in hockey, featuring Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and possible MVP leader, David Pastrnak. They also possess an elite defensive unit, spearheaded by captain Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, and Torrey Krug, and an incredibly talented goalie in Tuukka Rask. The Bruins are on track for another deep playoff run, but if they want to win the Stanley Cup this year, the second and third line forwards need to step up and put away chances. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Bruce Cassidy’s men in Boston’s next parade.
2. Boston Celtics
If you would have told me that the Boston Celtics would be sitting at a fantastic 41-17 record during the summer, I would not have believed it. However, that is where they are. After a year of underperformance and losing their two best players, Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, in free agency, the Celtics are looking dangerously strong. Kemba Walker, who was brought in to replace Irving, has been a flawless leader and fit into coach Brad Stevens’ system perfectly. Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter have filled in for Horford decently. Additionally, the Celtics’ young stars have begun to blossom. Jaylen Brown is having the best season of his career, developing a consistent jumper, and transforming into an elite defender. Jayson Tatum is becoming a superstar, making his first All-Star team and turning into an unstoppable scoring threat. The whole team’s chemistry is much stronger as well. Although the Celtics have a poor bench and can struggle to score sometimes, I expect them to make a run in the playoffs and maybe even reach the NBA Finals.
3. New England Patriots
The future in the Patriots essentially lies in the faith of Tom Brady. If he stays, the team will be competitive next season. However, if he leaves, I wouldn’t expect them to be anywhere close to making the playoffs. Last season, the Patriots had great coaching but a lack of talent. Outside of Brady, 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, an injured Julian Edelman, safety Devin McCourty, and a skilled but aging group of linebackers, the Patriots really had nothing to work with. McCourty and linebacker Jamie Collins are free agents. Offensive guard Joe Thuney is also unlikely to re-sign, making an average offensive line much weaker. The Patriots have a severe lack of playmakers at skills positions and could struggle to get anything going offensively. My prediction is that Brady eventually re-signs and Belichick, adds a decent tight end and a couple of solid wide receivers. If this happens, the Patriots will be contenders next year, but it is not certain, and without an offensive revival, the outlook is not looking good for the six-time champs.
4. Boston Red Sox
Nothing is going right for the Red Sox at the moment. Manager Alex Cora left his position after his role in the Astros cheating scandal, and the Red Sox are awaiting the results from investigations into their own cheating scandal (although punishments will most likely be light if any) To add insult to injury, former MVP Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price were traded to the Dodgers in order to get below the luxury tax for the upcoming season. While the Red Sox do have some talent on the roster, they are already being plagued by injuries. Chris Sale is likely to miss his first few starts with pneumonia, and outfielder Alex Verdugo, who was obtained in the Betts trade, may not be ready for opening day due to a back injury. Their pitching staff is also very weak. With Sale out, the Red Sox only have three major league level starters. Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, and JD Martinez must have solid offensive years, and Boston’s starting pitching and bullpen must hold steady for a Red Sox playoff berth this season.