All the talk before the season started was that the Red Sox pitching would have to be fantastic in order for the Red Sox to win a title. The talk at the end of May was that the Red Sox needed to trade David Ortiz. Both of these have been disproven since, as the Red Sox enter the middle of June with one of the best offenses in the league.

Here are the numbers.

The Sox have scored 340 runs on the season, which as of yesterday puts them ahead of the star-studded New York Yankees for most runs in the Majors. The Red Sox have 603 hits thus far, which is also good for tops in the Majors. They are fifth in batting average, posting a team .274.

The most surprising stat of all, though, would be the power numbers. The Red Sox have hit 81 home runs. That is good enough for second in the bigs.

As shocking as this may be, the Red Sox have the best lineup thus far in the season, but why?

David Ortiz: He has put his name back on the board as a feared home run and RBI machine. He is in a small slump here in June, but he has proven he can get out of it and have monster times.

He is hitting the ball to all parts of the field, and his home runs have been moon shots. He has given the Sox something to fear in their lineup.

Adrian Beltre: We all knew he struggled in Seattle, but for some odd reason no one thought that by moving to a much more hitter-friendly park he would do a lot better.

He is currently hitting .333 with eight home runs and 43 RBI. Those are very good numbers and good enough to be the third-best hitting 3B in the AL ahead of A-Rod.

He is playing like an All-Star right now, and if it were not for Longoria or Bautista he would be in great consideration for an All-Star vote.

Martinez/Varitek: The two-catcher combo has been incredible this year. If you combined their stats, you would get an average of probably around .280 with 15 HR, 46 RBI, and 81 hits.

Martinez struggled through April, and had an ok May, but in the month of June he is hitting .487 with a hit in all but one game thus far.

Meanwhile Tek has seemed to love his new backup roll, because he is hitting better than he has in two years. In 72 at-bats he has seven home runs and 12 RBI. He has filled in very nicely and been very productive for the Sox in his new role.

Kevin Youkilis: Perhaps the most consistent player for the Sox this year has been Youk. He is hitting over .300 with 12 home runs and more than 40 RBI. He has been the leader and the force driving this lineup the entire year.

He is currently on pace for career numbers in a number of categories, and has been a model for everyone.

Collaborative Effort: There have been breakout performances from many people this year, and they have all for the most part been at different times. Pedroia was the star in April and then he got cold in May. That was when Papi stepped up. Then Beltre got hot at the end of May and Papi went into a slump again, so Martinez and Youk got hot.

It is really easy for slumping hitters to get down and try to do too much to break out of it, but when others step up and make plays it puts less pressure on those slumping hitters, and gives them time to get out of it. 

All in all, this lineup has surprised everyone. They have had key injuries, but people like Jeremy Hermida and Bill Hall have stepped in and done their part.

With the pitching also getting it together, this team looks dangerous to make a run at the division before the All-Star break. 

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