Opinion

What’s the Most Realistic Scenario Where the Red Sox Get Into the Playoffs?

Every Red Sox fan can agree that everything has felt very bleak since their eight-game losing streak against the Rays and Yankees. That streak caused them to fall to 14.5 games out of first place in the AL East, and 6.5 games out of the second wild card spot. Since then, watching them has felt like baseball purgatory. Coming back would be a long road, there were no reinforcements made at the trade deadline, and there were not really impactful or exciting prospects coming up.

Luckily, they have stayed afloat. The Red Sox have gone 14-8 since the losing streak and are now 5.5 games out of the second wild card spot with two teams ahead of them. Those teams are the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays. Then, above those two are the Cleveland Indians, who only have a 1/2 game advantage for the first wild card spot. For the Red Sox to jump these teams they will need mediocrity at best from two of those teams.

Here are three tables showing the records the Red Sox would have to have in order to be tied for the second wild card spot with that team at the end of the regular season.

 

Cleveland Indians Record Boston Red Sox Record
20-6 

19-7 

18-8 

17-9

16-10 

15-11

14-12 

13-13 

12-14 

11-15 

10-16 

9-17 

8-18 

7-19 

6-20

5-21 

4-22 

3-23 

2-24 

1-25 

0-26

26-0

25-1

24-2

23-3

22-4

21-5

20-6

19-7

18-8

17-9

16-10

15-11

14-12

13-13

12-14

11-15

10-16

9-17

8-18

7-19

6-20

 

Oakland Athletics Record Boston Red Sox Record
21-6 

20-7 

19-8 

18-9

17-10 

16-11

15-12 

14-13 

13-14 

12-15 

11-16 

10-17 

9-18 

8-19 

7-20

6-21 

5-22 

4-23 

3-24 

2-25 

1-26 

0-27

26-0

25-1

24-2

23-3

22-4

21-5

20-6

19-7

18-8

17-9

16-10

15-11

14-12

13-13

12-14

11-15

10-16

9-17

8-18

7-19

6-20

5-21

 

Tampa Bay Rays Record Boston Red Sox Record
20-5

19-6 

18-7 

17-8

16-9 

15-10

14-11 

13-12 

12-13 

11-14 

10-15 

9-16 

8-17

7-18 

6-19

5-20 

4-21 

3-22 

2-23 

1-24 

0-25

26-0

25-1

24-2

23-3

22-4

21-5

20-6

19-7

18-8

17-9

16-10

15-11

14-12

13-13

12-14

11-15

10-16

9-17

8-18

7-19

6-20

What is the most realistic series of events?

With all these numbers and comparisons, now one must wonder, what is the most likely scenario? The best winning percentage that the 2019 Red Sox have had in one month is .600. This hypothetical winning percentage would give them 15.6 wins for the month of September. Even if you want to be optimistic at 16-10, the likelihood of two of these teams performing to the tune of a .400 winning percentage is very low. Realistically speaking, the Red Sox have to play like the best version of the 2018 team. The best that team ever did in a month was 19-6, which equates to a .760 winning percentage. If you put that winning percentage to this team’s September, you get 19.8 wins, which would round up to 20. This team is not exactly the same as last year’s, but if I told you even three months ago that this team would rip out a 20-win month this season, you would probably believe me. A 20-win month would tie them up with Cleveland if they went 14-12, Oakland if they went 15-12, and Tampa Bay if they went 14-11. It wouldn’t ask for much of a choke, but the Red Sox would have to exceed the standards.

The competition that the Red Sox, Indians and Rays are going to face are very similar. The combined winning percentage of the Red Sox’s upcoming opponents is .505. For the Indians, it’s .506, and for the Rays, it’s .500. But, the Athletics should have an easier time, as their upcoming opponents have a combined .477 winning percentage. So it may be most likely scenario here might be the Red Sox jumping the Rays and Indians. To add to that, the Red Sox have a four-game series against the Rays in this upcoming month.

Watch to see what happens

So, to the casual viewer, I am telling you to watch the Red Sox this September, at least for the first couple of weeks. If they start out by following their normal trends, there is not much of a point to watching the last couple of weeks of this team. But, if they come out hot, you need to pay attention. The likelihood is very low, but if the Red Sox pull off a comeback in the standings, they will probably be the hottest team in the postseason. This could wreak havoc in the American League. That being said, I’d be buying real estate in Bananaland if I told you I really think this will happen. Yet, the fun possibility still remains, and as long as it can happen, it is worth watching.

Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (Sept. 15, 2018 – Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)

 

 

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