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Five bold predictions for this week

Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox return this week to the site of perhaps their ugliest series of the season. John Williamson/Getty Images


Editor's note: This is the second installment of a new weekly feature that will appear each Monday on ESPNBoston.com. You can listen to Adam Jones and Drew Brooks on ESPN Boston Radio every weekday live from noon-2 p.m. and again from 2-4. (Listen HERE)

1. The Red Sox will be swept by the Rangers

Why do I believe this? Simply put, Texas is playing better baseball. The Rangers are 12-7 so far this month, while the Red Sox -- despite taking 3 of 4 in Kansas City over the weekend -- are 10-8 and averaging just 4.3 runs per game. It's also difficult to ignore the fact that the Red Sox have dropped 16 of their last 22 games against Texas, including a three-game sweep to begin the season. It doesn't help that Josh Beckett (3.96 career ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington) is the only scheduled starting pitcher with any success in Texas; Erik Bedard (5.81), John Lackey (6.78) and Tim Wakefield (6.23) have struggled to varying degrees.

Throw in the fact that Red Sox will play at least part of the series without three All-Stars (Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury) and I just don't see how that adds up to a successful series for the Sox.

2. Papelbon blows a save

Trust me, I know Jonathan Papelbon has only blown one save all season (May 9 against Minnesota), but do you really expect him not to do it again? Papelbon's numbers against Texas are actually quite good: 2-0 with a 0.42 ERA and seven saves. In fact, he's only allowed one run in his career against the Rangers; an RBI double to Michael Young on April 3. However, if the series goes as badly as I think it will, I expect Papelbon to have a hand in at least one of the losses.

3. Gonzalez goes yard

OK, enough doom and gloom. True, Adrian Gonzalez has only homered once in his last 177 plate appearances and zero times since July 30. And yes, he's only a .229 hitter with five home runs in 131 at-bats for his career in Texas. But the place is a launching pad. And he's due. That's enough for me.

4. Haynesworth won't play Saturday in Detroit

Let's get this out of the way: Whether he's healthy or not, I don't expect to see Albert Haynesworth in a game at any point this preseason. Yes, he was spotted at practice again this weekend . . . in shorts and a T-shirt. If anything, this just reinforces the notion that Bill Belichick doesn't want to tip his hand as to how Haynesworth will be deployed in his new-look 4-3 defense. It's reminiscent of how the Patriots utilized Randy Moss during his first season in New England. Remember? Moss didn't play a snap the entire preseason then proceeded to catch nine passes for a season-best 183 yards and a touchdown in a season-opening 38-14 beat down of the Jets. The guess here is they'll do something similar with Haynesworth.

5. I'll be very disappointed with my fantasy football team

I'll be honest. I kind of suck at fantasy sports. It makes no sense to me, but I do. I have a fantasy football auction on Sunday night and I already know I'm going to be completely underwhelmed by my team. Happens every year. Anyway, feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section or via twitter, because without your help I'll probably be flushing money down the toilet. Again.