Pitching has been Boston's kryptonite over the last few seasons, and the team's success in 2013 hinges on bounce-back campaigns from both Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.
Overall, Boston's staff has been great to start the season, posting an AL East-best 2.69 team ERA. A big part of that has been the two pitchers listed above.
Lester has a 1.42 ERA through three starts, with a 6.00 K/BB ratio. Buchholz is a perfect 3-0, and he has gone at least seven innings in each of his starts.
On the back end of the rotation, Ryan Dempster has handled the division well—going seven strong innings Monday night—and John Lackey looked strong in his first start before leaving with a bicep injury.
But there's two sides to ever story. While the rotation has been surprisingly good, the bullpen has been surprisingly bad.
Boston looked like it had arguably one the best 'pens in baseball during the preseason, but it has yet to pitch like it. Daniel Bard is in the minors, Craig Breslow is on the DL and closer Joel Hanrahan has an 11.57 ERA.
Despite the mediocre bullpen, it's impossible to ignore how good Boston's starters have been. If the arms keep this up, the Sox could be one of this season's biggest surprises come October.