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Boston Red Sox's second-half preview: Time to explore selling

Verducci's Quick Pitch: Boston Red Sox

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci previews the second half of the MLB season for the Boston Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox 

Record: 43-52

Standing: 5th in AL East

Team Leaders: 

Batting Average: Brock Holt, .327

Home Runs: David Ortiz, 20

ERA: Koji Uehara, 1.65

A season after winning the World Series, the Red Sox have struggled to mount any serious defense of their title. The Sox currently sit in last place in the American League East, 9.5 games behind the Orioles.

Pitcher Clay Buchholz has battled a knee injury en route to posting a 5.42 ERA. Boston called up highly-touted prospect Mookie Betts, but he has only batted .235 in the big leagues.

Ace Jon Lester has been a bright spot with his 2.65 ERA, but he is only 9-7 due to inconsistent run support. Postseason hero Xander Bogaerts was moved from shortstop to third base and is hitting .235 on the season.

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