Red Sox Should Benefit From Easier May Schedule Chock-Full of AL Central Teams

Red Sox Should Benefit From Easier May Schedule Chock-Full of AL Central Teams May started out with a bang, not just around the world but also around Red Sox Nation. With a safer road ahead, more victories should be in store.

Following an 11-15 April, the Red Sox hopefully will have a lot of victories in store, as they face an easier May schedule, matching up against four of the AL Central teams (and Tigers twice) and two other sub-.500 teams.

On Sunday, the Red Sox kicked off the month with a walk-off win, backed by Carl Crawford's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to lift the team over the Mariners.

On Monday night, they took on the AL West's first-place team, the Angels. Just last week, the Sox swept the Halos on the West Coast, backed by incredible pitching that allowed only five runs during the four-game series.

In the next series, the Red Sox welcome the struggling Minnesota Twins, whose run production and run prevention ranks last in the American League with just 85 runs scored and a league-worst 5.06 ERA.

After opening May with nine straight in front of the home crowd, the Red Sox travel to two AL East opponents — first the Blue Jays, then the Yankees. This will be Boston's most difficult stretch of the month, as they face two high-powered offenses, but it's only a five-game stretch.

Starting May 13, the Red Sox will close out the month with 19 games in 19 days, including a seven-game homestand and seven-game road trip. The homestand consists of the Orioles, losers of 12 of their last 18 games, the Tigers, who have the AL's second-worst ERA (4.72), and the Cubs, who have had plenty of struggles this season.

The Red Sox then head out on the road to Cleveland to play the first-place Indians. The Tribe did sweep the Red Sox earlier this season. And Cleveland does have the third-best ERA in the AL (3.48) and the most runs scored this season (146). But how long can this success last? Both injury-prone Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore are having All-Star seasons, and seven starters have four or more home runs already, on pace for 25 home runs each.

However, the Red Sox do also visit the Tigers — playing them for a second series in the month of May — before hosting the White Sox. The White Sox have struggled mightily, entering Monday as losers of 15 of their last 18 games.

If the Red Sox can turn things on in May, it will be the second year in a row they'll follow up a subpar April with a strong May. The Sox finished April with an 11-12 record, but that was after winning three of their last four to close out the month. From there, they went 18-11 in May, all part of helping them get back near the top of the AL East before injuries took their toll.

Even several of the hitters' numbers improved that May. David Ortiz hit .363 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs, while Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew both hit at better than a .300 clip and added 15 RBIs. All three could use a boost right now.

Only a 17-13 record in May will bring the team to .500. They're about to enter a stretch where they will take on teams with a collective winning percentage of .487. With the team's easy schedule ahead, it might be time for the Red Sox to break out and get over the .500 mark.

Do you think the Red Sox will close out May with a .500 record? Leave your thoughts below.

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