With a two-and-a-half-game lead on the second place Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox (50-34) are sitting exactly where they want to be halfway through the season — atop the American League East.
Obviously there is still plenty of baseball to be played, but, with a solid start that is the result of heavy contributions from both veterans and youngsters, it is time to hand out the coveted mid-season Most Valuable Player award.
Clay Buchholz has been one of the best pitchers in the majors when healthy, sporting a 9-0 record with a 1.71 ERA. John Lackey has picked up where Buchholz left off, winning two of his last three decisions to help keep the Red Sox rolling in Buchholz’s absence.
But the success hasn’t just stemmed from the the hurlers who are taking the mound. The Sox are arguably the best hitting team in baseball, leading the majors in runs scored and on-base percentage and ranking second in both batting average and slugging percentage. Much of this success at the plate has come from designated hitter David Ortiz (.317, 16 home runs, 57 RBIs) and second baseman Dustin Pedroia (.322, 5 home runs, 47 RBIs).