- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN Insider
But the Red Sox may have much less time than that to negotiate a new long-term deal with Lester, who is the unquestioned anchor of the staff and is off to the best start of his career, with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Lester gave the Red Sox their seventh straight win Sunday with a 12-strikeout gem against the Rays, matching his season high for fastball velocity, at 92.6 mph with the pitch (according to ESPN Stats & Information). Rays hitters were 1-for-13 with six strikeouts and a walk against that pitch.
He is averaging almost seven innings per start, and has 22 walks and 95 strikeouts in 80 innings.