The Boston Red Sox are in a bad slump. After underachieving all season, the team fell flat on their face and dropped seven straight against the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox currently sit at 59-54 and find themselves 5.5 games out of the second Wild Card. Things are obviously not looking good for the defending World Champions, and the Sox face long odds to make it to the playoffs. However, the exact odds vary depending on who you ask.
Boston Red Sox Playoff Odds: Fangraphs, Baseball Reference Torn
No matter where you look, the Red Sox are most likely going to be watching October baseball from the comfort of their couch. Baseball Reference gives the Red Sox just a 7.4% chance to make the Wild Card, while Fangraphs is slightly more confident at 23.6%. Fangraphs oddly believes there’s still a 0.5% chance the Red Sox win the AL East, while Baseball Reference doesn’t even give the Red Sox a prayer.
The reason for this discrepancy is that the Fangraphs uses projections over the entire course of a career whereas Baseball Reference places a harder focus on what happens in the current season. Fangraphs is of the belief that roster talent eventually plays through, while Baseball Reference believes that talent fluctuates on an annual basis and your future projection is largely based on how you play during this one season.
Quite frankly, Baseball Reference is right. This Red Sox team is loaded with talent, but it’s hard to believe in them putting together a playoff run. The offense is elite, but the pitching staff just isn’t up for the task. The bullpen only has a handful of reliable arms, and most of those guys are completely worn down from overuse. The starting rotation, which was supposed to be the strength of the team, has been the biggest weakness.
These flaws have been evident for quite some time, and there’s no reason to expect it to get better any time soon. Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, and David Price all have the talent to pitch better than they currently are. However, there’s no reason to believe they will do so. The results have been terrible and relying on these guys to magically find their old skills is a fools’ errand. Both sites agree the Red Sox’ odds are slim, but Baseball Reference is definitely the more accurate predictor in this case.