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Yesterday we looked at how the Tampa Bay Rays were stacking up thus far to their preseason CHONE projections.  We continue this series today with the hated Red Sox.  We will go through the offense and the starting pitchers, and then hand out some awards.

OFFENSE

C – Victor Martinez. Projection: .294/.366/.450, 17 HR and 89 RBI. Performance: .294/.344/.493, 8 HR and 35 RBI.

1B – Kevin Youkilis. Projection: .284/.384/.473, 23 HR and 88 RBI.  Performance: .310/.437/.585, 13 HR and 43 RBI.

2B – Dustin Pedroia. Projection: .308/.379/.443, 13 HR and 65 RBI. Performance: .275/.352/.458, 9 HR and 35 RBI.

SS – Marco Scutaro. Projection: .268/.360/.367, 7 HR and 48 RBI. Performance: .284/.354/.393, 4 HR and 23 RBI.

3B – Adrian Beltre. Projection: .271/.318/.428, 16 HR and 72 RBI. Performance: .335/.379/.533, 10 HR and 48 RBI.

LF – Jacoby Ellsbury. Projection: .302/.360/.412, 8 HR and 48 RBI. Performance: .250/.267/.341, 0 HR and 3 RBI.

CF – Mike Cameron. Projection: .235/.318/.393, 18 HR and 62 RBI. Performance: .267/.345/.353, 0 HR and 2 RBI.

RF – JD Drew.  Projection: .263/.372/.443, 18 HR and 68 RBI. Performance: .267/.359/.467, 8 HR and 39 RBI.

DH/Util – David Ortiz. Projection: .258/.355/.479, 30 HR and 96 RBI.  Performance: .268/.374/.572, 15 HR and 45 RBI.

STARTING PITCHERS

SP 1 – Josh Beckett. Projection: 188 IP, 3.73 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 174 K, 46 BB, 8.33 K/9, 2.20 BB/9.

Performance: 45 IP, 7.29 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 40 Ks, 19 BB, 7.9 K/9, 3.7 BB/9.

SP 2 – Jon Lester. Projection: 182 IP, 3.46 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 167 K, 61 BB, 8.26 K/9, 3.02 BB/9

Performance: 92 IP, 3.13 ERA, 1.152 WHIP, 96 K, 39 BB, 9.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9.  Them’s some Cy Young numbers.

SP 3 – John Lackey.  Projection: 186 IP, 3.92 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 141 Ks, 51 BB, 6.82 K/9, 2.47 BB/9.

Performance: 87 IP, 4.53 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 49 K, 37 BB, 5.0 K/9, 3.8 BB/9.

SP 4 – Clay Buchholz.  Projection: 151 IP, 4.23 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 123 K, 59 BB, 7.33 K/9, 3.52 BB/9.

Performance: 84 IP, 2.67 ERA, 1.269 WHIP, 58 Ks, 34 BB, 6.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9. If he keeps pitching well, the Red Sox won’t have to shell out a bunch of cash on the free agent market for a starting pitcher.  Oh, wait.  Too late.

SP 5 – Daisuke Matsuzaka. Projection: 138 IP, 4.30 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 121 K, 62 BB, 7.89 K/9, 4.04 BB/9.

Performance: 49 IP, 4.59 ERA, 1.306 WHIP, 37 K, 23 BB, 6.8 K/9, 4.2 BB/9. Bust.

And now, the Awards.  The “Baseball Isn’t Played on Spreadsheets” goes to…

Adrian Beltre!  While Beltre is getting some good luck from BABIP, he’s still putting together a very solid season. Both his ISO and his line-drive percentages are up from last year’s campaign and he currently has a wOBA of .393.  Even if he sees some regression in the way of batted balls, he will still be likely to have posted a very decent year in Boston, which is exactly the way Scott Boras and the Red Sox planned it.  Ugh.

The “He Needs LASIK, a New Workout Regimen, a New Pitch/Stance, and/or To Get Into the Best Shape of His Life” Award goes to…

John Lackey!  Really, you could gives this to Beckett too, but I think Lackey’s performance is more troubling in terms of peripherals.  As you can see here, Lackey has been a bit worse than his modest ERA would suggest.  His FIP is 4.61 and his xFIP is 5.15.  His K/BB ratio is a career worst 1.32.  Obviously, this is not what the Red Sox had in mind when they acted like a small-market team and shelled out $82 M for Lackey this offseason.  Best of all, from the perspective of Yankees fans, is that Lackey isn’t interested in striking out batters as much as he has been in the past.  That’s right, he’s fine with a 5.0 K/9:

Lackey’s strikeouts are also down this year — 4.9 per nine innings compared with 7.1 for his career — but he stressed that the stat he’s worried about most is the one that matters in the standings. “Strikeouts are nice, but they’re good for a free agent year,’’ Lackey said. “I’m not going to be doing that for a while. I’m here to win.’’  So far, he’s done just that. At 8-3, Lackey is on pace to win more than 14 games for just the second time in his career, and Francona said Lackey’s brand of competitiveness was part of the plan.

Lovely.  If you’re a statistically-inclined Yankees fan, you’ll be very happy to read that. I’m not interested in getting into a discussion of the value of the Win as a stat, so I’ll simply say that Lackey is underperforming his projection by a wide margin in 2010.  If this is the result of intent, then the Red Sox may have some severe buyer’s remorse.  We can only hope.

Tomorrow we will take a look at how the Yankees are faring against their CHONE projections.

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