They had the best record in baseball for nearly the entire season. That record also made them the best Red Sox team ever in the regular season and the first to reach 100 victories since 1946.
The offense is loaded and relentless, led by two Most Valuable Player Award candidates. They have a rookie manager in Alex Cora, who has a gift for making everyone feel loose.
So what is the potential issue (aside from the bullpen) that is making you feel a little uneasy as the Sox embark on the playoffs for the third consecutive year and try to get to the World Series for the first time since 2013?
For starters, the starters! Yes, they are accomplished, particularly the lefty ace tandem of Chris Sale and David Price. But their track record of positive accomplishments in the month of October is as slender as Sale’s frame.
If the Red Sox are going to win it all this year, they need their premier pitchers to lead the way. Look no further than what Justin Verlander did for the Astros last season. Or what Jon Lester did for the Red Sox in 2013. Or what Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did for the Diamondbacks in 2001.