ESPN ranks Red Sox behind the three teams they just steamrolled to a World Series in 2019 power rankings

Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox players celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN might have just posted its most blatant troll-job yet against Boston, and that's saying something.

The "worldwide leader in sports" posted its early power rankings for the 2019 baseball season, and you figure the World Series champion Red Sox would be the easy choice for No. 1, right?

Wrong.

That's right. The Red Sox just steamrolled the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers all the way to a world championship with an 11-3 record in October, making it look relatively easy against all three opponents. But for whatever reason, ESPN still has the Sox behind not just one or two of them, but all three.

The explanation from ESPN's David Schoenfeld is that closer Craig Kimbrel likely won't be back and they can't be expected to win 108 games again. That's fine, but why is that reasoning enough to drop this juggernaut behind all three teams that they just emasculated?

You want to put the Astros No. 1, fine. You want to account for the Yankees bolstering their roster with major free-agent signings, sure. But putting the Red Sox anywhere lower than No. 2 on the 2019 rankings is just obvious trolling designed to rile up the masses in Boston.

Then again, we just wrote almost 300 words on it. We took the bait. So ESPN wins, we suppose.

But it looks like the Red Sox have taken notice of it. Way to poke the bear, ESPN.

Click here for all Red Sox updates from 98.5 The Sports Hub.