It Gets Worse

An update based on last night's results.

-- The Rex Sox have five games left, Tampa Bay has four.
-- The Sox lead, as of now, by 1.5 games.

-- If the Sox go 3-2, Tampa has to go 4-0 to catch them.
-- If the Sox go 4-1, Tampa cannot catch up. The Sox would finish 92-70. Tampa's best possible finish is 91-71.

-- If the Sox go 2-3, Tampa can tie them by going 3-1 or better.
-- If the Sox go 1-4, Tampa catches them with 2-2 or better.

The saving grace, so to speak, is that the Sox have 69 losses, whereas Tampa has 71. It's still difficult for Tampa to overcome that. If Tampa only plays .500, the Sox win the division by winning only two more games.

Now let's suppose, for a moment, that the Sox drop both games today. If Tampa wins, they are tied. Then the Sox head to Baltimore, while the Rays host the Yankees, each series for three games. In theory, this is good news. The Red Sox must have better chances against the much weaker Orioles. But clearly we can't count on that -- and even if we could, three games is cruel math. A Sox 2-1 series win would mean Tampa would have to drop two out of three at home.

To be optimistic, let's assume the Sox win both games today. The Sox would be 90-69; Tampa would be 88-71 if they win. The lead would be two games again, with three games to play.

If the Sox win both today and Tampa loses, then best case scenario for Tampa would be a tie, and they would have to sweep the Yankees while the Sox got swept by the Orioles. Virtually impossible.

But not completely impossible. Welcome to Boston.

Note: Of course the Sox will probably split today, and I will see you again tomorrow.