The Rest of this Road Trip is Huge for the Red Sox
(Aug. 12, 2016 - Source: Rich Gagnon/Getty Images North America)
Evan Marinofsky Contributing Writer
The Red Sox are currently streaking with four straight wins. But they still have 10 games left on their road trip, and it doesn't get much easier. Every game has meaning.
It starts tonight in Baltimore for a 2-game set with the Orioles. The top of the American League East is highly contested with the O's, Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays. By taking both games from the Orioles, the Sox would gain essential ground on them and possibly the Jays. While the Red Sox are in Baltimore, the Blue Jays will be in New York to play the Yankees. Also, the Orioles and Red Sox currently occupy the two AL Wild Card spots.
After Baltimore, the Sox will head to Detroit for a 4-game series. In their most recent set against the Tigers, the Red Sox were swept at Fenway in late July. In terms of the AL Wild Card race, the Tigers are on the outside looking in. But they're hot and very close to moving into one of the two spots -- especially after this series between the O's and the Sox. If the Red Sox don't play well against the Tigers and lose more than two games, they could easily fall out of a Wild Card spot to the boys of Motown.
For the last four games of the trip, the Sox are in Tampa Bay to face off against the Rays. These games will be crucial since the Rays are in the cellar of the AL East and are what should be easy wins for the Red Sox to pick up. If the sweep of the Diamondbacks didn't just happen, I'd say the Red Sox don't do well beating up on bad teams. After that 16-2 pummeling of the D-Backs on Sunday, I don't think I can say that anymore. While the Sox will be playing the Rays, the Jays will be at home against the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have been horrid this year and the Jays are hot. Therefore, that will probably equate to at least two wins for the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox must continue their hot-streak, as they've won their past four games. If they can keep it going, they should have no problem staying in at least a Wild Card spot.
This stretch of games could be very telling on whether or not the Red Sox make the postseason. We're getting to that point where every game means something and in a highly-contested American League, anything can happen.