The Red Sox made some huge strides during the offseason, ones that certainly make them favorites in the ultra-competitive AL East. If I was a Red Sox fan, I'd certainly be riding high, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. A couple key concerns about the Sox:
1) Starting Pitching: Easily the Red Sox weak link. They still lack a bona fide ace, though they've got some contenders to the spot. Beckett and Dice-K are declining, and Lackey might not be too far behind. The bright spots of course are Lester and Buchholz, both young and coming into their prime. After last year's stellar season Lester may be ready for the ace role, but I'll want to see another year of excellence before feeling safe with him.
2) Relievers: The addition of Bobby Jenks really shores up the questionable Sox bullpen, but they're still lacking depth. If Jenks goes down the Sox are in trouble once more.
3) Outfield Depth: I love the pickup of Crawford, but after him there's not much else. An aging Mike Cameron, an aging and injury prone JD Drew, and the injury-prone Ellsbury. Not exactly an outfield to instill confidence in the team. Hopefully they can get a young prospect to step up and add a bit more depth and stability there.
Still, these are all minor problems for the Sox, compared to the team's huge upside. I'd certainly bet on them before the Rays or Yankees (Watch out for those Blue Jays in a sleeper role though. They could surprise).
"I see the Sox being NL East Champions"
I think they'll make it to the world series but lose to the phillies. Overall i think they'll do great
Im a Yankee fan but the amazing aquisitions...a legitimate shot at winning the world series...
I think we're gonna actually live up to the hype this year unlike last year when we didn't even make the playoffs. I see anywhere from 92-104 wins for us this year and I have Adrian Gonzalez winning AL MVP this year as long as he stays healthy. That's the key for us this year is to stay healthy which we were not able to do at all last year.
I see the Sox being NL East Champions and playing the Phillies in the Series. They really did a lot to improve their team this off-season, while the Yankees seem to be the same, the Rays are worse, the Jays could compete for 3rd or 4th place, and the Os are impoved but still not there yet.
They've got a contact AND power hitter at 1st in Gonzalez, which allows Youk to move to his preferred 3rd base. If Ellsbury and Dusty Peds stay healthy, it's a great lineup. The only cause for concern might be the starting pitching.