There probably weren’t too many Red Sox fans who predicted the team’s current state of affairs back in spring training. After all, Boston had just won a World Series and entered 2014 with the same core intact.
The Red Sox underachieved in the first half — posting a 43-52 record — and entered the All-Star break 9 1/2 games back in the American League East. Boston isn’t ready to wave the white flag, but making the playoffs is a lofty goal and the second half is difficult to predict.
The Red Sox will begin the second half with a make-or-break stretch. It will begin with three games against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park, followed by 13 games within their division. The Red Sox could make up some serious ground in that span or the final nail could be hammered into their coffin, thus altering how Boston approaches the July 31 trade deadline.
Either way, it’s going to be an intriguing second half. Even if the Red Sox fall out of contention, several interesting storylines surround the team, including Jon Lester’s contract situation, the emergence of rookies and how Boston plans to position itself for the future.
The crystal ball isn’t exactly crystal clear. But that never stopped us before. Let’s take a whack at some second-half predictions, shall we?