The second half of the Major League Baseball season begins
tomorrow, when the Red Sox begin a three-game set with the Yankees at America’s
Most Beloved Ballpark (trademark here).
Through the first half of the season (Well, it’s actually
more than half. The team played 97 games already), the Sox are in first place
in the American League East and have won 58 games. No Red Sox team has ever won
that many games heading into the All Star Break.
So, what can we expect from the boys in red moving forward?
Here are some predictions (some serious; some
not-so-serious) for the rest of the 2013 season:
Clay Buchholz will return to the starting
rotation – finally. He’ll get over the pain in his neck and stop being a pain
in the neck. The tall, lanky Texan will continue shutting down American League
lineups. He’ll be a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award.
Dustin Pedroia will get dirty. Because, well,
that’s what Pedroia does.
The Tampa Bay Rays, bolstered by such brilliant
PR efforts like “disco night” and “Joe Maddon Switches to Contacts Night,” will
eventually tie the Sox for first place in the division. Meantime, no one in
Tampa will notice.
The Red Sox will trade for a starting pitcher at
the trade deadline. Cliff Lee, anyone?
Jacoby Ellsbury, finally realizing he’s in a
contract year, will start hitting home runs again.
Don Orsillo will break out his powder blue sport
coat. Jerry Remy, meanwhile, will leave his hotel room on the next road trip –
but only to get coffee. Then, it’s right back to the hotel room.
Jose Iglesias will supplant Stephen Drew at
shortstop, permanently. Iglesias will finish the season batting a respectable
Xander Bogaerts will be playing third base in
the majors before Will Middlebrooks this season.
Koji Uehara will remain the Sox closer. (High
five, buddy!) Andrew Bailey will remain the go-to guy in the eighth inning, and
he’ll do the job well.
The Sox will clinch one of the two AL Wild Card
spots, but they’ll get bounced in the American League Championship Series by
Detroit. (Scherzer, Verlander? That rotation is pretty ferocious).