Opinion: Red Sox will win World Series this year

After some initial doubts to start the season, I can confidently say that the Boston Red Sox will win the World Series this year.  Everything is finally coming together, and the team is now full of MVP and Cy Young candidates.

A lot of naysayers counted the Red Sox out during the first weeks of the season, after the team started out 0-6, but the team has quickly righted ship and now finds itself in the upper echelon of not only the American League East, but the entire MLB as well.  The team is getting solid contributions from basically every regular player, and has found a couple of surprises along the way. Not many people predicted David Ortiz was going to be among the team leaders in home runs.  All of the marquee signings the team has made in the last few years have begun to pay dividends, albeit John Lackey who makes the Yankees look smart for spending money on oft-injured AJ Burnett, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who should really consider going back to Japan and just staying there for good.

I feel like making more bold predictions that I know will come true, so I’ll make another one: Adrian Gonzalez will win the American League MVP Award.  Gonzalez is currently showing Boston fans why the team pursued him every year, and why the trade to finally acquire him will go down as one of the smarter moves under Theo Epstein’s tenure as general manager.  Gonzalez has been worth every penny of the 154 million dollar extension the Red Sox recently signed him to. He is among the top five in the American League in most offensive categories and is one of the most feared hitters in the entire MLB.  He has career highs of 40 home runs in 2009 and 119 RBIs in 2008, and if he continues his torrid pace this season, he will annihilate those numbers.

The Red Sox are not only bullish on hitting, but also have a couple of Cy Young worthy pitchers to boot.  Both Jon Lester and Josh Beckett have been lights out this season, and are the anchors of the staff.  Most fans don’t realize this, but Lester is only 27 years old and already has a no-hitter and a World Series ring. Additionally, he beat cancer as well, which is not bad for someone who hasn’t even reached his prime yet.  Beckett has been a pleasant surprise this year for the Sox as well, after his disappointing 2010 campaign in which he fought injuries throughout the season and ended up going 6-6 with a 5.78 ERA in 21 starts.  This season, Beckett is currently leading the American League in ERA and seems to be regaining the form he had back in 2007, when he went 20-7 and finished second in the American League Cy Young voting.  With Lester and Beckett throwing lights-out, there’s no telling how many wins the Red Sox will finish with this season.

So Boston be prepared to host a victory parade in November because the Boston Red Sox are going to be the 2011 World Series champions.