The Boston Red Sox seemingly could not have had worse timing.
Their series against the Baltimore Orioles — the only team in the American League East not involved in the playoff chase — should have been a lay-up before a season-ending series against the Washington Nationals. Boston could’ve sat back and watched as the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays beat up on one another as the Seattle Mariners sat behind.
Instead, the Red Sox dropped two of three games to the Orioles and saw their hold on the second American League Wild Card spot slip away in the process. Boston and Seattle, after all, now are tied for the second wild-card spot.
Of course, you can look at the numbers to see just how unbelievable Thursday’s loss really was as DraftKings Sportsbook had the Orioles as a +190 underdog.
But the loss also meant Boston’s postseason aspirations took a major hit, at least mathematically.
Before the Red Sox began the three-game set against Baltimore, FanGraphs gave them an 86.1% chance to make the postseason — the highest of the teams now considered to be in the race. For perspective, the Mariners had just a 5.6% chance as of Monday.
Following Thursday’s loss, however, the Red Sox dropped to a 59.7% chance to make the postseason.
Life comes at you fast.
While Boston has three games to get it together over the weekend in Washington, D.C., the Red Sox now will be hoping some other things fall their way.
The Red Sox now are tied with the Mariners for the second Wild Card spot meaning Boston would host Seattle for game No. 163 if the season ended Thursday. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, are one game behind both while the Yankees have a two-game lead for the first wild-card spot.