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One-on-One: Who is off to the more surprising start?

Red Sox

No team has been more surprising in all of baseball this year than the Boston Red Sox, and it isn’t because they’ve been good.

After the major offseason acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox figured to be one of the best teams in the American League. But just 16 games into the season they are a disappointing 5-11.

It shows that amassing talent isn’t always the key to having a good team.

Chemistry is just as important. 

On paper, the Red Sox should be scoring a lot of runs and shutting people down with their pitching. Right now, they aren’t doing either.

Boston has scored two or less runs in five games this season. Six times the Red Sox pitching has given up eight or more runs.

This isn’t a recipe for success.

It’s still early in the season and getting too worried about how your team is doing midway through April will just stress you out. 

It’s an extremely long season. 

But for all their talent and money invested, Red Sox fans have to be sweating.

They’ll eventually get it together with Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia and the rest of the team, they are too good not to. 

But right now the Boston Red Sox are the most disappointing team in baseball.

-Alex Ross 


Indians

While teams such as the Red Sox were throwing money around at anyone with an OPS over .900, the Cleveland Indians were putting together one of the most critically panned offseasons ever.

Yet here we are 17 games in and which of those teams is winning its division? 

The Indians.

After spending just more than $3 million over the winter on veterans Orlando Cabrera, Chad Durbin and Austin Kearns, the Indians have stormed off to a great start.

The resurgence of Travis Hafner and the recovery of Grady Sizemore make this look less like an aberration and more like reality.

After signing a monster contract, Hafner suffered injury setback after setback and never got his legs back under him.  But after a healthy offseason, he’s returned to his 2006 form with a 1.041 OPS and .346 batting average.

But even though the offense is clicking, the reason behind the hot start is pitching.  The major piece of the loot in the Victor Martinez trade, Justin Masterson has made strides so far. He leads the team with three wins and an ERA of 1.33.

When pitching and hitting both step up to the plate, it doesn’t matter how much money was spent to get there; any team is tough to beat.

-Bill Hopkins