Photo from Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe
The simple answer is yes, but not in the manner you might be thinking.
The Boston Red Sox currently sit atop the American League East standings – holding a 2.5 game lead over the rival New York Yankees. Despite a recent skid that saw the Red Sox drop a series to the Baltimore Orioles and 3 of 4 games in New York, there should be optimism in regards to making the playoffs.
For one, the Red Sox have an incredibly easy stretch in the month of September. They only play two series against teams with a record over .500 – Houston and Baltimore. Meanwhile, they face Toronto, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Cincinnati, most of whom are well out of playoff contention.
Here’s the Red Sox schedule for the rest of the month pic.twitter.com/eqYffEXKR5
— Sox Sphere (@SoxSphereBlog) September 4, 2017
I’m not ruling out a September collapse, as we’ve seen it before, but with this schedule it would be highly unlikely.
The primary problem the Red Sox are faced with is sustainability within their key players. For the majority of the year, I have attributed it to youth. Which, in most cases, is a viable answer, as the Sox have the 6th youngest roster in baseball. The Red Sox have one of the youngest cores in all of Major League Baseball. Mookie Betts is only 24, Xander Bogaerts 23, Andrew Benintendi 23, and Rafael Devers is 20.
Regardless of youth, it is time for the stars to shine. Rafael Devers should truthfully not be lumped into this category. His current struggles are undeniable, but he was not expected to be on the big league club at this point and without his current contributions, this team may not be in first.
There is no denying that sustainability is the key word for the Sox. The pitching needs to have regular success, as well as the offense. Chris Sale needs to improve, Rick Porcello needs to turn in consistent outings, Doug Fister and Drew Pomeranz need to remain a viable options, and Eduardo Rodriguez needs to pitch better.
Similarly, Betts, Bogaerts, or the veteran Hanley Ramirez need to get hot, but become sustainable if the Red Sox want to have success in October.
The Red Sox will face the Blue Jays, who they are 10-4 against this season.
Eduardo Rodriguez will face off against Marco Estrada.
First pitch will come at 7:10.