Recent times has not been nice to the Red Sox. Currently on a 2-11 skid since the All-Star break, it’s a far fall from the great start the Red Sox had at the beginning of the season. Red Sox’s biggest problem? Pitching. With team ERA of 4.52, third worst in the MLB, worst in the American League, the biggest problem the Red Sox are facing is staying competitive in games. The offense is doing everything it can, 9th best team batting average in baseball, but it hasn’t been enough, especially recently.
The Boston Red Sox Schedule for the remainder of the season is not going to be easy, and with the Red Sox already 14 games back behind the New York Yankees for the AL East division crown, it’s hard to see the Red Sox winning the division this year. They do have 80 games left, so nothing is certain, but 14 games back against the Yankees is going to be hard to overcome. The real shot into the postseason is getting a wild card spot.
Graphic via boston
Despite a 44-58 record (.431 winning percentage) the Red Sox are only 9 games back behind the second wild card spot. The Minnesota Twins currently hold the second wild card spot with a 52-48 record. With 80 games left, a 9 game difference can easily be made up. But that involves the Red Sox to turn around their season quickly. The Red Sox are on pace to finish the season with a 78-104 record. The teams in the wild card run, Twins, Orioles, and Blue Jays just to name a few are projected to have between 90-96 wins, setting the bar for a wild card spot
Using basic projections, that’s about a 20 game difference that would need to be made up over the next few months. Looking at the Boston Red Sox schedule, 10 games against the Yankees, 6 games against the Orioles, a series against the Mets and a series against the Royals, it’s going to be tough for the Red Sox to make a serious gain in the standings. All of those teams are in serious contention for their division crowns, and even if the Mets or Orioles don’t win the division they will be wildcard favorites.
There is some positives in the Boston Red Sox schedule though; they have two series against the Cleveland Indians, a series against the Phillies, and two games against the Marlins. These should be looked at as ‘must wins’ for the Red Sox. Every game that these three teams win is a lost opportunity to get one game closer to the wild card spot. While the Red Sox are only 9 games back from the second wild card spot, they are literally dead last in the American League. There are 10 teams between the Red Sox and the second wild card spot, that’s a lot of ground to make up.
Baseball Prospectus calculates the probability of a team making the postseason after every game and posts the results on MLB.com. As of July 29th, the probability of the Red Sox making it into the postseason, calculated by Baseball Prospectus, is .8%. Baseball Prospectus is giving the Red Sox less than a one percent chance of making the postseason. This comes back to the fact that even though Boston is only 9 games back in the wild card race, they are behind every other team in the American League.
It’s hard to see the Red Sox being a serious contender this fall. With no serious trades made to improve their poor pitching staff, the Red Sox are deciding that the current rotation they have now is it. Clay Buchholz can’t do it by himself for Boston, and Boston not acquiring any new talent shows that that management doesn’t think this is the year. Unless a historic run happens, the Red Sox are looking like they will be watching the postseason on their couch this fall.
Graphic via rantsports