AL East leader
Boston Red Sox
Overall record (through Sunday): 73-57
Last week: 2-5
This week: At Toronto Blue Jays (Mon.-Wed.); at New York Yankees (Thu.-Sun.)
Something happened to the Red Sox after watching their ace get knocked around on Thursday. Boston opened the week with two wins in three games against Cleveland. But after Sale got lit up in the series-finale, the week just went off the rails.
Things really got out of control with a home sweep at the hands of Baltimore. Boston lost the opening game of that series by a 16-3 final score and never recovered.
Before the current four-game losing streak, the Red Sox were arguably the hottest team in the American League. The team had won 15 of its first 19 to begin August with only two losses apiece coming against Cleveland and New York.
The Baltimore series kicked off a 22-game stretch in which 19 of the games will come against divisional opponents. Save for a three-game set against Oakland at Fenway Park, Boston will not play a team outside the East Division until a trip to Cincinnati on August 22.
This week those divisional games include three against the fading Blue Jays and the third weekend series in a four-week span versus the Yankees. Boston won both of those recent series against its nemesis, but—with New York climbing back into the division race—the four games this week are absolutely crucial for retaining this spot next week.