Why the Red Sox Could Win the American League East in 2017
The New York Yankees are the most successful team in the history of the American League East. With 18 titles overall. The Yankees easily beat Boston’s 8 titles, and the 9 that the Baltimore Orioles have.However, despite being so successful throughout the 2000s, and into the early years of this decade, the Yankees have fallen behind in recent years. They haven’t won the AL East since 2012, and the Boston Red Sox have won twice since that time. With the fierce rivalry that exists between these two teams, they’re currently locked in a race for the top spot. The Red Sox currently lead, and it’s looking increasingly likely that they could beat the Yankees in the race to the playoffs.These are the reasons why we think that the Red Sox could become the American League East champions for the second year in a row.
The Red Sox Can Come Back When They Need To
Just last week, things weren’t looking particularly promising for the red sox. They were coming off of three straight losses, and had lost four out of five games. That was until things all changed as they came up against the Toronto Blue Jays. This was a moment that can make a whole season, and if the Red Sox do win the AL East and even go to the World Series, then they’ll likely look back at this particular moment as the one where they stepped up their game and started to focus on getting to the post-season.The game on Tuesday 5th ended up going to 19 innings with a 3 – 2 win for the Red Sox. It was a grueling game and it showed the perseverance that the Red Sox have. It also revealed a lot of depth in their team, and showed how they can all respond under pressure. They could have added to their recent losing record, but, they instead turned things around and maintained their AL East advantage over the Yankees.
Boston Has One of the Best Defenses in Major League Baseball
Another factor that could take the Boston Red Sox through to the playoffs, is their impressive defense. This team is often compared to the Yankees, and it’s a general consensus that their defense is slightly better, which should technically give them the best defense in the AL East.There are so many effective players in this team who can pump out the stats like it’s all they do. Take Mookie Betts as an example. He has been criticized lately for some performances that have been less than stellar, but then you look at figures like his 29 defensive runs saved, or his 333 putouts, and his .985 fielding percentage. Betts isn’t even the best defender that there is on this team at the moment, so that says a lot about how much potential the Red Sox could have in the playoffs.In some stats, such as ultimate zone rating, the Red Sox are only behind the Angels in the MLB. The team overall are ranked third for defensive runs saved. Players like Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. help to make this defense one of the best in the league.If we take a page from the World Series playbook of the Chicago Cubs, then we can see that defense has a major impact on whether or not a team can win a World Series. When the Red Sox look that far ahead, they’ll at least have confidence knowing that their defense has the right people to put up with the best batters in the MLB.
The Red Sox Have an Easy Schedule for the Rest of the Season
Although we never want to see a playoffs race come down to something so mundane, it’s a simple fact that the Red Sox have the easier schedule in the final weeks of the regular season. When the Red Sox play outside of the AL East, they’ll be up against the Oakland Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds. Neither of these teams are in contention for the playoff, so it’s likely that they’ll use these games to start testing out their potential roster for 2018. The Red Sox are also slotted to play the Houston Astros, by which time it’s increasingly likely that the Astros would have locked in their spot in the post season. If that turns out to be the case, then you can be sure that they won’t push their most important players against the Red Sox. Instead, they’ll use their games to keep fitness up, and give their most important players a small reprieve before the playoffs begin. However, if the Cleveland Indians are still challenging the Astros for the top AL West spot by that point, then the Red Sox will play against a highly motivated team that will be fighting for their grip on the post season. There’s a slight unknown in this scenario, but the Astros are definitely the favorites over the Indians to win their division.Compare this schedule to what the Yankees will be doing, and things look good for the Red Sox. The Yankees will be playing teams that they can beat, but these will be teams that will be fighting for Wild Card slots. This is not to say that the Red Sox have a far easier late-regular season run, but it is at least slightly more favorable than the Yankees.
The End of This Season Will Be Exciting
At this point, everyone is looking forward to the playoffs, but this final stretch of the regular season is still going to provide plenty of excitement. While the Red Sox have a strong chance of winning the race to the playoffs, the New York Yankees are in hot pursuit, being just 3.5 games behind as of September 8.Besides the playoffs themselves, this final week is going to be one of the most important of the year in the American League East.