Chris McGrath/Getty Images
The Sox had one of baseball's better rotations last season, and now that we're in an odd-numbered year, Beckett will be dominant again (comparison of his numbers between even and odd years is truly striking).
Daisuke Matsuzaka hopes to overcome his stunning inability to go deep into games, after pitching so much in Japan years ago.
Only a couple years removed from being sidelined with lymphoma, Jon Lester is the true ace of the staff and will compete for the Cy Young award this year.
Clay Buchholz has a chance to compete with Lester for top honors in the rotation. When he was given the opportunity last season, he dominated. In 17 starts, Buchholz accumulated a 2.33 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
John Lackey was disappointing last season for the amount the Sox invested in him. He hopes to rebound, but Tim Wakefield will be waiting in the wings if Lackey's struggles continue and he starts costing the Red Sox games. Both pitchers will give the Red Sox innings, but Lackey had a WHIP of 1.42 and ERA of 4.40 in 215 innings last season.
Starting pitching remains a strength for the Red Sox, and they could easily have three All-Stars in their rotation.