Boston Red Sox: 5 Daring Predictions for the 2012 Season

Ben ArnoldContributor INovember 14, 2011

Boston Red Sox: 5 Daring Predictions for the 2012 Season

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    The 2011 Boston Red Sox season ended in disappointment, to say the least.  There was much good to take away from the season however.  The season started off slow but was put into full force come the beginning of summer.  

    No one expected Jacoby Ellsbury to put up the numbers he did this past season, let alone be in the race for AL MVP honors.  Adrian Gonzalez instantly came into the lineup and produced, putting up MVP numbers as well.  

    There is a lot of hope riding on the Boston Red Sox entering the 2012 season.  Many changes will be made to the team, and expectations are riding high.  Things need to change and they need to change now.  Boston is a city that loves baseball.  The Red Sox are the heart of the city; people live and die with them.

    Here you will find 5 daring predictions that I have made for the 2012 Boston Red Sox season, hopefully, with the graces of the Baseball Gods, they will all come true.

Jon Lester Has Career Year (21 Wins/250 Ks/2.95 ERA)

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    Jon Lester had somewhat of a off season this past year.  He posted a 3.47 ERA with 182 strikeouts while going 15-9 over 191.2 innings pitched.  He is the ace of the team and is going to be relied upon greatly this upcoming year.

    In 2010 he posted a 3.25 ERA over 208 IP and had 225 strikeouts with 19 wins.  These are the numbers we need from him to contend this upcoming year.

    Bold Prediction: Jon Lester bounces back and becomes rejuvenated. He regains focus and wins 21 games with 250 strikeouts and a 2.95 ERA.  This will be a career year for Jon Lester as the team needs him to play big and regain control of the ballclub.  

Carl Crawford Regains Form and Quiets Critics

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    Carl Crawford is coming off one of the worst years of his career.  He posted a .255 batting average with 11 home runs and 56 RBI with a .289 on-base percentage and 18 stolen bases, in contrast, his 2010 season he hit .307 with 19 home runs, 90 RBI, a .356 OBP and 47 stolen bases.

    The Red Sox brought him in based on his 2010 merits and his potential as a fast, valuable left-handed hitter, but his performance in 2011 was disastrous.  The Boston fans can be forgiving if you bounce back, but the feeling on Carl Crawford is very low.  He must produce big and do it quick.

    Bold Prediction: Carl Crawford regains 2010 form and silents the critics.  He ends the season with a .302 batting average with 20 HRs, 85 RBI, 50 SBs and a .375 OBP.  He plays exceptionally well in left field and becomes the player which the Red Sox expected him to be.  

Adrian Gonzalez Wins AL MVP and Triple Crown

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    The Boston Red Sox signed Adrian Gonzalez in the 2010 offseason to fill the void at first base, and he stepped right in without looking back.

    He posted some career numbers during his first year with the organization.  He posted his best batting average (.338) and OBP (.410), and had the most runsl (108) and hits (213) in a season. Everyone knew that he would immediately made a splash at Fenway Park, and that is exactly what he did.

    He now has his first year in a big market under his belt, and judging by the way he handled himself, bigger numbers can be expected next year.  

    Bold Prediction: Adrian Gonzalez wins AL MVP while having another career year with a .365 BA, 43 HRs, 135 RBI and a .432 OBP.  The numbers he will put up next year will make his 2011 season look like a walk in the park.  He will find his groove at Fenway and while doing so will secure the first Triple Crown since 1967 when Carl Yastrzemski won it for the Boston Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox Win 100 Games, Win AL East

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    The Boston Red Sox will find the grit and determination that has eluded them the past few years.  They will have fresh legs and bring a fire onto the diamond that hasn't been seen since the historic 2004 championship.

    They had a chance to make history again this year but failed at the end of the year.  Everyone has heard the story of the September collapse, but after this upcoming season, the collapse will be a forethought in the minds of the Fenway Faithful.

    Bold Prediction: The Boston Red Sox win 100 games en route to the AL East pennant.

Red Sox Play in Late October vs. the Phillies

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    The World Series has eluded the Red Sox since 2007.  The expectations were high for the Boston Red Sox entering the 2011 season as they brought in key free agents and traded for Adrian Gonzalez.  The season collapsed and the Red Sox fans were brought to their knees.

    Bold Prediction: While on their way to the AL East title, the Boston Red Sox cruise through the first rounds of the playoffs, playing well into October when they face off against the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.