This is interesting. Though I can't find it anywhere on si.com, Channel 7 reports that Sports Illustrated is picking the Red Sox to win the World Series.
Not sure how I feel about this. I think the Red Sox are capable of winning the World Series, given their talent level and steady manager, Terry Francona. In the offseason they added Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.
But people forget they also lost a couple of pretty good hitters in Victor Martinez and Adrian Belte. Besides, hitting wasn't the problem last year -- the Red Sox were second in Major League Baseball in runs scored (818) last season.
They will need to avoid the injury problems that plagued them last year. They also need more consistent pitching from guys like Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Therein lies the rub. They've bolstered their bullpen, which blew a lot of games for them last year, by adding Bobby Jenks, but he's probably on the downside of his career.
Then there's the issue of the SI jinx. At least they're not on the cover -- that honor goes to the Phillies this year. But SI has made some bad calls before. In 1987 they picked the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series and they lost 100 games that year.