Feb 24, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals, 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Dodgers are better than your team: Boston Red Sox

The bean eaters had a rough 2012. Probably a more disappointing season than any other team in baseball. Mired in injuries and slumps… then more injuries and a manager that makes Boston fans yearn for the good ole days of Grady Little, the Red Sox unloaded the majority of their payroll on the Dodgers. Even though 2013 should show improvements for Red Sox, at about 85 wins, they still wont be better than the Dodgers.

The Red Sox will again be relying on a few players to lead and carry the group. They may see a little more success in 2013 because no team may ever see the plethora of injuries again that befell the 2012 Sox. Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester will lead the charge, while Papi, Napoli, and Victorino will play nice supporting roles. Guys like De La Rosa, Buckholz, and Middlebrooks definitely have something to prove. This is a team that could surprise a lot of people, especially considering the lack of star power we are so used to seeing them trot out there everyday. But just like the Yankees, the Red Sox talent can’t keep up with the improvements the rest of the division has made.

October 3, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) throws to first for a double play as New York Yankees designated hitter Raul Ibanez (27) is out at second base during the fourth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Pedroia was having a nice season last year despite every effort of his manager to squash his spirit. Bobby Valentine may never manage a major league game again. He had some nagging thumb and finger injuries throughout the season and his numbers should recover from them in 2013. Ellsbury is a different story. Like former teammate, Carl Crawford, Ellsbury played in only 74 games last year and his numbers were not too impressive. This is a contract year for Ellsbury and I adhere to the notion that the majority of major league players play better in a contract year.

John Lester is now 29 years old and 4 out of his last 5 years has pitched over 200 innings. Some might say he is a work horse. But last year, his declining fastball straightened out and found too much of the zone. Under the tutelage of John Farrell, Lester might find what made him the ace of the staff and potential Cy Young candidate. Speaking of Farrell. No team has improved as much as the Red Sox did with John Farrell this off season. Clay Buckholz, Ruby De La Rosa, and the rest of the staff should find a higher rate of success with him on board.

The Sox have some nice pieces in the minors, but many aren’t ready to contribute in 2013. The Rays and the Jays will lead the AL East in 2013. The Red Sox are in a rebuilding phase for 2013 and will finish a few wins better than the bottom dwelling Yankees.

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