Midseason Sox thoughts: Lester and Buchholz still pivotal, only 20 saves, Farrell or Francona?

Even though we are 97 games into the season, the MLB all star break kind of represents the halfway mark. With that in mind, here are my Sox thoughts at midseason….

— One Vegas online site shows the Red Sox were given 30/1 odds back in April to win the World Series. In July the odds are now 11/1. I knew I should have…..

— The Sox are in first place and look so good, yet the same two players remain the key to the second half. Remember everyone said back in April that the team would go as far as Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz would take them? With Lester struggling and Buchholz recovering from injury, the same holds true.

— John Farrell finished 16 under .500 in two seasons managing Toronto. He is 20 games over .500 right now…Hmmm.

— They have been in first place or tied for first place every day since opening day April 1st – and that is no April Fool’s Day joke!

— Wonder what they could fetch in a Stephen Drew trade once he gets healthy?

— What if the Cleveland Indians keep doing what they are doing and the Sox keep doing what they are doing. Does Terry Francona beat out John Farrell for AL manager of the year?

— Please Mike Napoli…can you cut down on your strikeouts in the second half.

— Wouldn’t a Red Sox vs LA Dodgers world series be something?

— It pains me to say this, but, I think the Tampa Bay Rays are the Sox biggest competition in the AL East.

— The Sox have a $13-million-dollar option on Jon Lester for next year. Or, they can buy him out for $250,000. Might he be second-half trade bait?

— According to tatertrottracker.com David Ortiz now has 8 of the top 10 slowest home run trots in the first half of the season. The other two players on the list are Todd Helton (Rockies) and Josh Donaldson (A’s). Come on Papi, slow down and go for 10 out of 10.

— Let’s say this together….John Lackey has a 2.78 ERA and that is fourth best in the American League! How did it sound?

— Go figure – the Red Sox have the most wins in the American League yet they are tied for fewest saves (20).

— It will not take long to see how things will go in the second half. The Sox begin with 3 vs the Yankees, 4 vs Tampa Bay and 3 vs Baltimore.

— I’m going to enjoy watching Jacoby Ellsbury in the second half because…

— According to baseballprospectus.com the Sox will win 93.4 games and have a 91.5% chance of making the playoffs as either a division winner or wild card. I like those numbers.

— I sure hope this season doesn’t come down to the last three games in Baltimore – again.

— Enjoy the home run derby and all-star game this week on Sportsradio 92.2The Ticket.