Three predictions for 2013

As we welcome a new year, ESPN Boston writers have checked their crystal balls and are making some bold predictions. Here are three for the Red Sox:

1. The Sox will be a playoff team. Throughout this offseason, one of the most discussed topics in Red Sox Nation is whether or not this team will be able to contend in 2013. General manager Ben Cherington has made solid additions to the roster, starting with new manager John Farrell. If the Red Sox can remain relatively healthy, they should have success and will contend in the postseason in 2013.

2. Lester and Lackey will come up big. The biggest factor for the Red Sox will be the starting rotation. Lefty Jon Lester will rebound from a disastrous 2012 season and he’ll return to form in 2013. As important as Lester’s contributions will be, fellow starter John Lackey will have a big year, too. The veteran right-hander missed the entire 2012 season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and he’s motivated to prove himself in 2013.

3. Ellsbury will rebound, then bolt. Boston fans should enjoy watching Jacoby Ellsbury in a Red Sox uniform in 2013 because it will be his last. The center fielder will become a free agent after the season and he’ll be one of the most coveted players next winter. Because of his pending free-agent status, Ellsbury will have a big year for the Red Sox and he’ll produce in a similar fashion as he did in 2011.

Check out ESPN Boston's 13 predictions for 2013 by CLICKING HERE.