Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Other than David Ortiz, the Red Sox lack those marquee names in the middle of their lineup. Fans are used to seeing sluggers like Manny Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez slotted in the middle of the order.
Despite that, they have a good order. At the top, they have Jacoby Ellsbury, who, when healthy, is one of the most dynamic players in the game. In 2011, he would have won the MVP, were it not for the Koufaxian season Justin Verlander put together.
Following Ellsbury are Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia, another couple of All-Stars.
Victorino has already won over the adulation of Red Sox fans, with his hard and exciting play. Along with Ellsbury, he give the Red Sox a pair of speedsters who can put pressure on pitchers and steal some bases. He has gotten off to a good start in Boston, posting a .294 average and .364 on-base percentage in his first 18 games this year.
Little needs to be said about Pedroia. He has been fantastic over his career in Boston, and will continue the kind of gritty play that won him the affections of Red Sox fans long ago. He is off to another nice start this season, hitting .300, and reaching base safely in all but one game this season.
Ortiz has come back strong from his ankle injury strong. Over his first four games back from his injury, Ortiz has gone 8-for-16, with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBI. Despite his hot start, he has not hit a home run yet this season, but the Red Sox shouldn't worry about that. Since he joined the team in 2003, Ortiz has never hit fewer than 23 home runs.
Mike Napoli, who the Red Sox got at a bargain this offseason, has been a wonderful bat in the middle of the order. While his current pace of RBI (he has 26 in just 21 games this season) is unlikely to keep up, Napoli can be depended on as a power bat in the lineup. He has eclipsed 20 home runs in each of the past five seasons, yet only once he played in more than 115 games.
The rest of the team's order is a little thinner, but that top of the order can be relied on to produce runs all season long. And with the stellar pitching of the Red Sox, there is not as much of a burden on the offense to score runs.