Playoff baseball is around the corner and the Red Sox look like they will be in the American League Wild Card Game. The playoffs officially start Oct. 5, starting with the Wild Card games.
The Red Sox are currently 88–65 which puts them 2nd in the AL East and puts them in position to host the Wild Card Game. To be fair, the New York Yankees (86–67) and the Toronto Blue Jays (85–65) are not very far away from them either. In order for the Red Sox to lock in their spot in the Wild Card game, their upcoming series against the Yankees is going to be very important. As of the time I am currently writing this, the Red Sox have nine games left—three against the Yankees, three against the Baltimore Orioles and three against the Washington Nationals. The Orioles are one of the worst teams in the League, but the Yankees games could give us some trouble. There is still a chance that the Red Sox will not make the playoffs. That is why this next series against the Yankees is vital to keep the Red Sox playoffs hopes alive. Also, it is important to note that the Yankees and the Blue Jays still have a series against each other as well before the season ends.
The reason I am so confident that the Red Sox will secure their playoff spot is because of their incredibly hot streak they have been on over the last couple of games. They have been putting up runs like nobody's business. In the month of September, the Red Sox have scored a total of 119 runs or 6.2 runs per game. They have had two games with 10+ runs. This has been thanks to some phenomenal hitting by the whole team, especially Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber. This elite hitting has made the Red Sox one of the hottest teams in baseball. And what better time to get hot than the playoffs?
My only concern is with the bullpen. The Red Sox lack pitching depth. Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in the league—the Red Sox are currently undefeated when he is pitching—but he can’t pitch every inning. While the Red Sox have a couple decent pitchers, I fear they will struggle in the playoffs when they are facing elite teams every night.
These next few games against the Yankees are going to be a good measure for the Red Sox since there is a good chance that will be the wild card game. If they can win those games without Chris Sale, who will likely rest until the playoffs, then I think they will have a good chance in the playoffs.
Once they get past the regular season, who knows what can happen. One reason I love the MLB postseason is because it is so unpredictable. The best team or higher seed doesn’t always win the series. There have been plenty of times where the wild card winner moves on to win the World Series. The Red Sox won it all as the wild card in 2004 and the Washington Nationals won it two years ago in 2019. There have been many more instances, but one thing that is important for a wild card team is momentum which the Red Sox have a ton of going into the postseason.