Some argue that baseball is the hardest sport to predict. There's so much 'ebb and flow' in a 162-game season—it's hard to say which events will prove telling in the end. Then again, others say that it's precisely because of the long season that things even out—and that the long-haul allows the "creme" to rise to the top. Either way, it's always harder to predict Red Sox fortunes. Don't ask us why, it just is. This year is no exception. They have a powerful new offense, but they don't even have one single player in ESPN's Top 40. They have five decent starting pitchers, but no definitive ace. They have clearly added bona fide stars to the roster, but one (Hanley Ramirez) is playing a wholly new position. They have some interesting arms in the bullpen, but there are just as many reliever question marks—not the least of which is the health of their 40-year old closer. So, with that, here's our prediction:
The Red Sox will finish in second place in the AL East, 2 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. Neither team will win 90 games. The Red Sox will capture a Wild Card spot and defeat Tito Francona's Indians in the one-game play-in. They will win the Division Series over the Tigers, and lose a seven-game series to the Mariners in the ALCS. The Washington Nationals will defeat the Mariners to become World Champions. We'll be here all season. Drive safely. Don't forget to tip your waitresses. Try the veal.