The Boston Red Sox, like the Phillies, were early favourites to win the World Series.
This is mainly due to the offseason acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, who give Boston one of the strongest offenses in the majors.
First in runs scored and batting average in the American League, and second in home runs, their lineup boasting the likes of Gonzalez, Crawford, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury, will have no problem generating runs on a day to day basis.
The addressable weakness, if you could call it that, of the Boston Red Sox is in their rotation's consistency.
Josh Beckett has been a consistently inconsistent pitcher throughout his career. He's a pitcher who puts up All-Star seasons in alternating years, and has stuck to that for the better part of his career. Luckily for Boston, he is currently in the middle of one of his good seasons; one where he is boasting a 2.17 ERA.
Jon Lester, the ace of the staff, has also produced a great season for the Sox in 2011, putting up a follow-up to his fantastic 2010. He has contributed 11 wins and has a 3.32 ERA.
The question mark is the No. 3 spot in the rotation. Ideally, Clay Bucholtz will return from injury in September and start where he left off, but as his injury is a serious one—and so is the question of who can provide a strong punch from the anchor position of a postseason rotation.
John Lackey just hasn't been all there for the Red Sox in 2011, and although he has put up an 11-8 record, he is currently representing an ugly 6.13 ERA.
Boston will need to put a solid, reliable, consistent starter in the three-spot when October rolls around, and if they are able to find the production from one of their hurlers, they will be in excellent position to not only dismiss the rest of the American League's elite, but to enter November with a little more hardware.