A look at how the Boston Red Sox compare with their division rivals in what assuredly will a close competition in the final month of the season.
There isn’t a division in Major League Baseball more wide open than the AL East.
The Toronto Blue Jays enter the day on Wednesday sitting atop the division, but the Boston Red Sox are hot on their heels at a mere two games back and the third place Baltimore Orioles are only a game behind Boston. Then there is the New York Yankees still lurking as a dark horse candidate in this race at 6.5 games back.
Any one of these teams could finish strong to claim the division crown, while at least one of the runner-ups is likely to claim a Wild Card spot.
The last time that the Red Sox were in the playoffs was in 2013, when their postseason run ended with a parade celebrating the third World Series title since the turn of the century. Since then the franchise has languished through a pair of miserable last place finishes. While it’s nice to finally be playing meaningful games in September again, anything short of a return to the postseason will be met with crushing disappointment.
A Wild Card spot may appease a rabid fan base suffering from postseason withdrawals, but who wants to rely on a one-game playoff to advance? The introduction of a second Wild Card has given winning the division significantly more importance, so that remains the goal for each of the teams in this race.
September if shaping up to be a crucial month with a number of series against divisional foes on the schedule. Let’s examine the outlook of each of the teams in this race to see who stands the best chance of ending the season at the top of the AL East.
Next: Blue Jays