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Red Sox are the Team to Beat in the American League

The Boston Red Sox are playing the best baseball in the American League and are now leading the American League East by 2½ games over the Tampa Bay Rays. Boston is 79-56 on the season and has won four of its past five games overall.

Boston was not considered a contender for the postseason starting the season. However, they were a good team that has transformed into a very good team, as they have a solid pitching staff and can scored runs in big bunches.

Nevertheless, most picked the Tigers as the better team. At times, it looked like Tampa Bay might even be better than the Sox and walk off with the AL East title. Others have said the Rangers, A’s or Orioles were all better teams that Boston.

That however is no longer being said. The Red Sox at this time are the best team in the AL. The Red Sox are 23 games above the .500 mark. It is certain that anything could happen over the next five weeks before the regular season ends, but now people are accepting the fact Boston seems capable of reaching the World Series after finishing in last place just a season ago.

Boston is not a perfect team by any means. They have had a number of injuries in the bullpen, but Koji Uehara has stepped up to fill in as the closer.

The starting rotation, which was questioned in spring training, has now become a dominant group.

Jon Lester and John Lackey two veterans had tough seasons last year, while Felix Doubront only had one full season under his belt in the majors starting the season.

Ryan Dempster was acquired to give the rotation more depth, but Boston will make its run into the playoffs on the shoulders of Lester and Lackey, who both are changing the minds of their critics.

The two have a combined ERA of 2.90 during August. Lester before Thursday night had allowed only 4 earned runs over his last four starts. The Red Sox starters have an ERA of 3.81, which is second only to Detroit.

The front office also went out and acquired Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox to bolster the staff. In his five starts with Boston, Peavy has an ERA of 3.31. His numbers are only part of his story, as his veteran presence in the clubhouse and dugout has already been felt in a positive way.

However, everyone remembers the collapse of the Red Sox in September two seasons ago and does not want a repeat of that nightmare.

Offensively it is still Dustin Pedroia’s team. Boston’s second baseman is the best player on the team, has great energy and reflects the hope that all of Boston has for its team.

Of course, with their collapse in September two seasons ago and a last place finish under Bobby Valentine a season ago, fans in Boston know anything can happen. However, this season they are hoping for baseball at Fenway Park in October.

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