News flash: The Red Sox have a good rotation.
1. Josh Beckett
2. Jon Lester
3. John Lackey
4. Daisuke Matsuzaka
5. Clay Buchholz
And there's your best rotation in baseball, which will be followed by one of the best bullpens in baseball. Beckett and Lester are proven aces for the Red Sox, and Dice-K was an ace in his most recent healthy year. Then you have Lackey, the free agent signee.
John Lackey has proven solid as well. Some may say that his numbers in Fenway aren't very good. If I remember correctly, the last time he pitched here in the regular season, he took a no-hitter into the ninth. In Game 1 of the 2009 ALDS, he allowed no runs on four hits in seven innings. As far as I'm concerned, he's done with his awful pitching in Fenway. Then you have Buchholz, who looked impressive down the stretch last year.
And then you have the lineup. Is it as good as the Yankees'? No, but it's pretty good. I'd imagine it'll look something like this:
1. LF Jacoby Ellsbury
2. 2B Dustin Pedroia
3. C Victor Martinez
4. 1B Kevin Youkilis
5. RF JD Drew
6. DH David Ortiz
7. SS Marco Scutaro
8. 3B Adrian Beltre
9. CF Mike Cameron
This said, I don't believe it SHOULD be like this, rather with Scutaro batting 2nd, Cameron flipped with Drew, and then Drew flipped with Beltre, with everyone else moved up.
Bottom line: This is a good lineup. Potentially a very good one.
Ellsbury is one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball. Pedroia is a proven work horse that will produce for you. Martinez is just a flat out monster. As is Youkilis. Drew has never really looked that good, but he actually batted .279 with 24 HRs and 68 RBIs. However, he can get a few more, as he'll have a bigger role without Bay.
Then you have Papi, who actually led the league in RBIs and HRs after Juen, and you also have the three other signees after Lackey, Scutaro, Beltre, and Cameron. Scutaro had a breakout season last year for the Blue Jays, and is an ideal top or bottom of the order hitter. Look for him to continue his solid production.
Beltre isn't great, but he's certainly an improvement over what they had last year: Varitek/Kotchman. Finally you have Mike Cameron, who is just very underrated. He hit .250 with 24 HRs and 70 RBIs, and that was in Milwaukee—a much larger field than Fenway. Actually, it's really the same deal with Beltre. They both played in big ballparks, and are now they are righties moving to Fenway, both of them with great power. They have the potential to be younger Mike Lowells in this situation.
So what do you get when you pair the unarguable best rotation in baseball with a very good lineup? Domination.
And I haven't even started talking about trade possibilities involving Adrian Gonzalez yet, but first, let me just voice a truth: The San Diego Padres suck. Bad. Up and down the organization, they are unbearably bad. One bright spot is Adrian Gonzalez, one player that can easily garner multiple top prospects in a trade. The team that has been going after him hardest is the Red Sox, by far. And they still want him.
Chances are good (considering GM Jed Hoyer has any common sense) that he will be dealt before the deadline this year. The Padres need some good prospects, and it's not like they'll be winning before his contract's up. They've already dealt Peavy, and there's no doubt Gonzalez and Heath Bell will be the next to go. Who will Gonzalez likely go to?
A hitter absolutely perfect for Fenway park. If he comes to Boston, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he hits 50 HRs or so. After all, he hit 40 last year, and he played in one of the worst HR hitting parks in the majors for half the season.
If the Sox get Gonzo? Don't bother playing the rest of the season. Just give us the trophy. If we don't? We'll still dominate. Count it, Bombers fans.