The Boston Red Sox have started the season 16-2. How much longer do they need to extend this win streak to claim the best start to a season in MLB history?
The Boston Red Sox shook off a bullpen meltdown on Opening Day to reel off 16 victories in their next 15 games. They entered Friday with the best record in baseball at 16-2, the best start to a season in franchise history.
With a few more wins the Red Sox can claim the best record to start a season by any MLB team.
Only seven teams in the Modern Era have won 16 of their first 18 games. The Red Sox are among four teams who have started out 16-2, while three have topped that with a 17-1 start.
It’s too late for Boston to top the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers, 1991 Oakland A’s or 1918 New York Giants for the best record through 18 games. However, each of those teams would soon suffer a second loss. The Red Sox still have a chance to pile up more wins before their third loss than those teams did.
The ’91 A’s dropped their next two games following their 17-1 start. They never made it to 18-2, which is where the Red Sox will be if they win their next two. The ’87 Brewers were 18-2 before losing their next game, while the ’18 Giants went 18-1 before losing two in a row.
Boston needs to get to 19-2 to top this trio, which they’ll do if they sweep the Oakland A’s this weekend.
Three other teams on this list started out with the same 16-2 record that Boston currently holds. Each of them made it to at least 19-2, surpassing the records of the trio of teams to begin 17-1.
The 1984 Detroit Tigers started 19-2, only to lose their next two games. The 1911 Tigers made it to 21-2 before losing consecutive games.
That leaves the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, who won 22 games before being tagged with a third loss. 22 wins are the most any MLB team has tallied while recording no more than the two losses this year’s Red Sox team currently has.
The Red Sox would need to string together seven more consecutive wins to surpass the ’55 Dodgers for the best start in major league history. That’s a tall task considering that their next six are on the road.
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Boston heads to Oakland next for three games against the A’s. They may not seem like much of a threat with a record that sits a game below .500. However, Oakland had the misfortune of playing seven of their first 19 games against the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels. LA still owns the second-best winning percentage in the American League even after running into the buzzsaw that is the streaking Red Sox.
The A’s didn’t fare well against their division rival but they are no push-over. Oakland is fourth in the league in runs scored and second in OPS. Not many teams can outslug the Red Sox the way they are hitting right now but the A’s have the bats to make things interesting.
If the Red Sox survive the weekend without a loss they will continue their quest for history in Toronto to take on a Blue Jays team that sits only four games behind them in the AL East. The Jays own the league’s third-best winning percentage and second-best run differential. Boston is certainly capable of winning the series but a sweep may be more of a long shot.
If Boston somehow finishes this road trip without a loss to equal the ’55 Dodgers, they’ll return home to Fenway Park to face a familiar foe in their division rival Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox have already beaten the Rays in six of their seven meetings this season. That includes a three-game sweep at Fenway in the first home series of the season.
If history is on the line there is little doubt that they’ll top the Rays to claim it. The Red Sox just need to get through these next six games on the road in order to have the opportunity.