We're at the All-Star break, and the Boston Red Sox aren't exactly where they want to be in the standings, as they sit with a record of 43-43.
Injuries have been commonplace for the team this year, which may explain why it's had its struggles.
When it comes to starting pitching, the Red Sox haven't exactly been the best in the American League this year.
Combined, Boston starters have a 4.81 ERA (12th of 14) and a 1.38 WHIP (11th of 14).
As I'm sure most of Red Sox Nation knows, the second half is huge for the Red Sox, and possibly the future of manager of Bobby Valentine.
And it's all going to start with their starting pitching.
Here is one prediction for each of the Red Sox starting pitchers.
Lester is one of the more disappointing players on the Red Sox roster, as he has a 5-6 record with a 4.49 ERA and 94 strikeouts.
In his last 10 starts, Lester has only given up two or less runs twice.
If the Red Sox are going to get anywhere close to the postseason, Lester is going to have to turn his season around.
If he doesn't, and quickly, a fire sale might be on the horizon for the team.
Prediction: Lester does turn his season around, getting up to 14 wins and 190 strikeouts. Not great, but far better than the path he's on now.
Beckett has been another disappointment for the Red Sox this season, as he has a 4-7 record with a 4.43 ERA and 65 strikeouts.
He's lost his last three decisions and gave up six earned runs in his July 6 start against the Yankees.
The season is not looking good for Beckett.
While I understand what he's done in the past for the Red Sox, and with Clay Buchholz set to come off the disabled list some time after the All-Star break, it might be in the best interest of the team to move Beckett into the long relief role or, dare I say, demote him to Triple-A.
I don't see that happening, but a trade could be in the works as the season progresses. But, the only way that would happen is if the Red Sox take on a majority of his salary.
Prediction: Beckett will finish out the season with the Red Sox, but it will be his last in a Red Sox uniform. He'll finish the year with 10 wins and 140 strikeouts.
Dice-K is currently on the disabled list as well for the Red Sox, but that might be the best thing for the team.
Understandably, Matsuzaka was thrust into the rotation due to injuries, but he hasn't performed well.
He's currently 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA.
Once he does return, he'll most likely be demoted back to Triple-A.
Prediction: Demoted to Triple-A.
Doubront has been a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox rotation this year.
In fact, if they were to make the playoffs, I'd be keen on making him the Game 1 starter.
Anyways, Doubront is 9-4 with a 4.41 ERA and 97 strikeouts.
I honestly think he has a long career with the Red Sox ahead of him unless the team takes advantage of his value and trades him this year.
But I don't think that will happen. He's young enough and one the team can build its rotation around
Prediction: Doubront will get 18 wins and 200 strikeouts.
Aaron Cook is another one of the guys that was forced into the rotation due to injury, and he's performed decently in his four starts, although don't expect him to strike out many people.
He's 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA and will be good in the No. 5 slot for the Red Sox the rest of the year.
Prediction: Cook will finish the year with eight wins.
The ERA may not be sexy at 5.52, but Buchholz is still managing to get the job done.
He's 8-2 with 58 strikeouts, and when he went to the disabled list, it was felt throughout the Red Sox rotation.
But alas, he will return and should pick up right where he left off.
Prediction: Buchholz will finish the season with 15 wins, but the ERA will be 4.80 or higher at the end of the year.