Is it finally time for the Boston Red Sox to make the jump out of fourth place in the division and into serious contention?
After the West Coast road trip, in which the team went 8-2 and won all three series, they are set up quite well.
As it stands on June 12, the Red Sox sit just 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays, four games back of the Toronto Blue Jays and 12.5 games behind the New York Yankees — which we’ll refer back to later.
In the meantime, it’s time to finally make a push for third and eventually second place, with a fairly weak June schedule and a nine-game homestand starting Tuesday. To close out the month, Boston plays the Oakland Athletics (21-41), St. Louis Cardinals (34-27), Detriot Tigers (24-35), Cleveland Guardians (29-27) and Blue Jays (35-24).
Two bottom-feeders, one mediocre team and two really talented teams, one of which is an American League East opponent. If they can position themselves to be within a few games of Toronto by the three-game series to close out the month, they could realistically end June in second place, or at least be within reach.
Is first place truly out of the conversation?
While it seems like a pipe dream, the Yankees are bound to come back down to reality, with plenty of season to go. As it stands now, the Bronx Bombers are on pace to win 119 games. Unless you think the 2022 Yankees are genuinely the best regular-season team in MLB history (by three wins), then you should be expecting a slump to hit New York.
One losing streak by the boys in pinstripes and the division is wide open once again… well, minus the lowly Baltimore Orioles, who will just have to be happy with the addition of top prospect Adley Rutschman.
The Red Sox currently sit at a depressing (yet possibly extremely profitable) +4000 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the division. A $100 bet on Boston making an epic comeback would return $4,100.
While it might be worth a flier, the better odds are on the Red Sox to end up representing the American League in the World Series. Those odds sit at +1900 with an easier path to cash. All the Red Sox would have to do is remain in one of the Wild Card spots and go on a run in October, as they did a season ago.