Even with five losses in a row and a mediocre .500 record (they are 48-48), the Boston Red Sox remain contenders for a playoff spot.
If you recall correctly, they weren’t really high in the standings last year, and they strung some wins together and ended up earning a Wild Card spot.
They made it all the way to the American League Championship Series, so ruling them out with more than two months left to play would be silly.
However, if they want to make it far this year, they need to start winning some games in their own division.
Doing that would mean that not only they would start piling up some valuable Ws, but the teams with which they are competing would lose, too.
So far, the Red Sox have been a lousy team against AL East foes, and a good club against everybody else.
It’s a baffling split.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 25, 2022
The Red Sox Have Been Awful Against Foes In Their Own Division
The difference is abysmal: yes, the competition level in the AL East is obviously elite, but a 12-29 intra-division record for a team with playoffs aspirations cannot be tolerated, much less a -93 run differential in just 41 games.
Boston will need to improve a lot to steal some wins against the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Yankees.
In 2022, they are 3-5 against the O’s, 4-6 against the Yanks, 2-8 against Tampa, and a whopping 3-10 against Toronto.
The Jays and Rays have done whatever they have wanted against the hapless Sox.
That needs to change.
Injuries and underperformance by key players have changed the Red Sox’s outlook somewhat, but they do have the pieces to make an impact and improve in the second half.
Will they be able to do that?