Red Sox schedule a grueling test down the stretch

3 things that must go right in order for the Red Sox to make it to the postseason
Chicago White Sox v Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox v Boston Red Sox / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
2 of 2

3 things that must go right in order for the Red Sox to make it to the postseason

1. Starting rotation and bullpen needs to execute

With the return of Chris Sale last week, Garrett Whitlock added to the bullpen, and the return of Tanner Houck just around the corner, the Red Sox pitching staff is adding reinforcements at the right time. However, a few Red Sox starters have also been taking slight steps back recently. Bryan Bello was credited with the lone loss in the series against Detroit, going 4 2/3 giving up nine hits and four earned runs. Kutter Crawford was charged with a loss in the series prior when he went 3 1/3 giving up seven hits and three earned runs against the Royals.

James Paxton had an impressive last outing against the Royals throwing 5-1/3 scoreless innings and punching out six and will take the mound Tuesday when Boston opens up a two-game road series against the Nationals. With Sale still getting settled in and Houck likely being stretched out and limited upon his return, the Red Sox are absolutely going to need their bullpen and guys like Josh Winckowski, Chris Martin, Nick Pivetta, and Brennan Bernardino to step up when called upon.

2. Take advantage of the schedule

As noted, the remaining stretch for the Red Sox is anything but light, however, there are more than a few winnable games and series that the Red Sox will have to capitalize on if they have hopes of securing that third and final Wild Card spot. The next two series for Boston feature a pair of last-place teams. Washington is 13 games under .500 but are winners of seven of their last 10. The Yankees also find themselves at the bottom of the American League East and have lost four out of their last 10. Make no mistake of it, Washington and New York are anything but guaranteed wins and will give the Red Sox all the trouble they can handle, but, the Red Sox have a very good chance to walk away with back-to-back series wins if they play to the strength of their schedule.

After a grueling 10-game stretch the rest of August, seven of which are against the Astros, and then a three-game series against the first-place Dodgers, the Red Sox square off against another last-place team when they head to Kansas City over Labor Day weekend. With three of the Red Sox's next series opponents currently at the bottom of their divisions, Boston must capitalize on the schedule and take advantage of golden opportunities to climb in the Wild Card standings.

3. Wear yellow

OK, this one is a little more light-hearted, but nonetheless, Boston is 12-2 this season when wearing their signature yellow City Connect uniforms and 26-6 all-time. Whether by happenstance or not, the Red Sox find success when they take the field in yellow and blue and may want to consider their wardrobe choices as they enter the final stretch.

More Red Sox stories from BoSox Injection