The rotation, they suspected, would be an issue. The bullpen, too, could have some at least occasional problems.
But never did the Red Sox expect their offense would be the weak link.
And yet, one week into the season, here we are.
In getting smothered by the New York Yankees 5-1 Friday night, the Red Sox managed just five hits. Only one -- a solo homer from ChristianVazquez -- was for extra bases. After the fourth inning, the Red Sox didn't get a man into scoring position, and in five of the nine innings, they were retired 1-2-3.
Keep in mind that they weren't facing Gerrit Cole, whom they mercifully miss in this series. Or, for that matter, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton, though they're lined up for the next two nights.
No, this silencing came at the hands of Jordan Montgomery, who earned his first major league win in more than two years after missing most of that time recovering from Tommy John surgery.
That the Sox scuffled offensively is hardly a new development. Although they came in tied for second in runs scored, their total is skewed. Yes, they've managed 37 runs in eight games, but 13 of those came on Opening Night. Since then, they've scored 24 in the other seven games, or a little more than three per game.
And as has been clearly demonstrated, except on rare occasions, they haven't pitched nearly well enough to win when they're scoring three or so runs.
Other than the otherworldlyVazquez, the Red Sox are not getting much production from their regulars. J.D. Martinez is hitting .219 with a .637 OPS and has yet to hit a homer. Rafael Devers is at .172. And XanderBogaerts, who had singles to "lift" his average to .240, has an OPS of just .656.