Sunday, March 30, 2008

2008 Boston Red Sox Preview

Boston won it all in 2007 which made all their douchebag fans very happy. Will they win it all again this year and make the gayest fans in sports even more unbearable, or will the Sawks championship run mercifully end after one year?
2007 record: 96-66, World Series Champions

Projected Lineup:
1 Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2 Dustin Pedroia 2b
3 David Ortiz DH
4 Manny Ramirez LF
5 Mike Lowell 3b
6 JD Drew RF
7 Kevin Youkilis 1b
8 Jason Varitek C
9 Julio Lugo SS

Lineup Grade: A- The Red Sox will still have one of the most potent lineups in baseball thanks to Manny and Papi. They are also going to have young guys at the top who could provide some needed speed that Julio Lugo never really provided last year. The Sox will probably need their veteran 5-8 hitters to match last year's output to equal the Yankees offensive potential, but its going to be hard for guys like Mike Lowell to put up the same stats again. This is still a really good lineup that should average above 5 runs a game.

Pitching Rotation
1 Josh Beckett
2 Daisuke Matzusaka
3 Tim Wakefield
4 Jon Lester
5 Bartolo Colon
CL Jonathan Papelbon

Pitching Grade: B... Boston's pitching carried them to the title last year, thanks to the heroic efforts of Josh Beckett and a stifling bullpen. This year though, the staff is not nearly as deep. Beckett is already hurt, and Curt Schilling will be out for most of the year. The pen should still be effective, but the questionable starting pitching could be the weakest link on the team. If one of the young guys, Jon Lester or Clay Buchholz steps up though, they could team with Beckett to once again give the Sox a formidable staff.

2008 Prediction: Its never easy to repeat, and the Sox will learn that this year. The Yankees will always give them trouble, and the rest of the division besides the god-awful Orioles has improved. They are still playoff caliber, but will have no margin for error because there are a number of other teams in the AL that have just as good a chance as them to make the playoffs. If they do make it in, their championship experience will go a long way, but its no guarantee they even get that far. If the pitching holds up, and Manny and Papi do their thing, Boston should be playing in October.

2008 Record: 95-67, 1st or 2nd in AL East