The Boston Red Sox Could Play Spoiler in the AL East

The Boston Red Sox might be out of the playoff picture, but they could still factor heavily in who will make the playoffs out of the AL East.

Red Sox
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 27: Xander Bogaerts #2 and Kevin Plawecki #25 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate defeating theToronto Blue Jays in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on April 27, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

With 21 games left on the season, the Boston Red Sox are nowhere near where they expected to be when the season began. Last year, the Red Sox won 92 games and were a playoff team. This year, they are in dead-last in the AL East with a 69-72 record and are 16.0 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

Boston has dealt with numerous injuries this year and sits in a tough spot in terms of their future, as Xander Bogaerts can opt out of his contract this offseason and Rafael Devers is a year away from free agency. Nathan Eovaldi and J.D. Martinez are pending free agents, while Chris Sale can also opt out of his contract as well this offseason (although unlikely given his injuries this year).

While the Red Sox are unlikely to make the playoffs this year, sitting 10.0 games out of the AL Wild Card, they do have an opportunity to play spoiler for some of their division rivals, namely the New York Yankees. Here are the remaining game on their schedule in 2022:

  • New York Yankees (six games)
  • Baltimore Orioles (four games)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (three games)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (three games)
  • Kansas City Royals (three games)
  • Cincinnati Reds (two games)

Boston Red Sox & the AL East

They have to face each AL East at least one more time, and with each club currently fighting for a spot in either the playoffs or first in the division, if the Boston Red Sox can find a way to put on a winning streak, they could really shake up the division.

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The Orioles currently sit outside the Wild Card but aren’t far behind at 5.5 games back. The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays have to face each other nine more times this season, which could really shake up the playoff picture if either team struggles. The Red Sox could add to each team’s misery, as the club has to face Toronto in the second-to-last series of the season, before finishing off the year against Tampa Bay.

To make things even more interesting, the Red Sox could help the Yankees move down the division and potentially out of first place as the Blue Jays and Rays sit only 5.5 and 6.0 games back respectively for first place in the division. Both teams still have to face the Yankees before the season ends and the Red Sox could add to their misery if they can muster up some wins against their chief AL East rival.

The Season Series

One thing going against the Red Sox is their season series in the division, as they do not hold a single series:

  • Toronto 3-13
  • Tampa Bay 4-12
  • Baltimore 7-8
  • New York 6-7

This might not make the Sox the most formidable foe, but then again, it could also mean they are due for some positive regression. Boston is also trending in the right direction, going 6-4 over their last 10 games and will face the Yankees this evening with two top infielders in Boegarts and Devers.

The club might be out of the playoff race but can still shake up the division if they find a way to win over the next 21 games.