AL East leader
Boston Red Sox
Overall record (through Sunday): 77-60
Last week: 4-3
This week: Vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Mon.-Wed.); off Thursday; vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Fri.-Sun.)
Despite a three-game sweep of Toronto to begin this past week, Boston has to be disappointed with how the previous seven days went. When you play for the Red Sox, a series defeat to the Yankees—no matter the circumstances—is going to sting.
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In this case, it sees New York close the gap on the American League East Division leaders to 3.5 games. That stings a lot. However, the schedule should help Boston feel better going forward. Whereas the Yankees face the Orioles and Rangers this week, the Red Sox get six games at home against the Blue Jays and Rays.
That is followed by three games each against Oakland, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Toronto. Of those five teams, only the Orioles are currently above .500, and the Rays are the only other one near the mark.
The East Division is Boston’s to lose, but the Red Sox chief concern now should be where it falls among the AL’s division leaders. As you may have noticed, Cleveland passed Boston this week and is looking like it might catch Houston for home-field advantage.
Either way, unless they go on a run, the Red Sox will be on the road to open the postseason. Even with the schedule they have going forward, Boston will not like its chances of moving out of this No. 3 slot.