The Boston Red Sox had a historic start for the 2018 season. Will it continue? The May schedule will have another lengthy road trip and a three-game visit to the Yankees.
Can it get any better? The Red Sox were a scythe at home or on the road in April (and an itty-bitty part of March) cutting through competition with a surprising ease. And then it happened. Slump. Baseball is a strange mistress to fate and an almost sweep by the Rays at home shows that.
April schedule ends and the Red Sox are now facing the next big test on their schedule. The Red Sox embark on a ten-game road swing starting with the Rangers (4) followed by New York Yankees (3) and closing out on a visit to “Hog Town” (AKA – Toronto) for three games.
Will the Red Sox be lusty? Based on how this team is configured the road means little as an impediment to continued success. They can hit as shown and then comes the potential for losing multiple games. With a staff that apparently wishes to outdo each other in the rotation, an extended stretch of misery is certainly avoidable. I doubt you will see six or seven-game skids with this team.
How times have changed. The Red Sox use to be notorious for road failure, but this team is not one that is top to bottom swing from your heels hitters. They grind, or they pound, or they combine both. They come at you like ants at a picnic – spray or swat they keep on coming. So far it is very impressive. And one expects it to continue.
Despite the long road trip, the schedule does have 15 home contests versus 14 road games, but at the end of the lusty month of May is the one that should be on the calendar – the Houston Astros at Houston. A series that coasts into June and one that may be classified as part of a revenge tour.
Prior to that Boston has a nice selection of division games with the Yankees being the prime competition to keep an ever-watchful eye on. And don’t forget the Jays who have managed to surprise with their fast start. Maybe an opportunity to distance the Red Sox from both? Three games at Toronto and three back home against the Jays.
The Braves will also arrive at Fenway Park for two games and maybe a local will get to the Fenway Mound? That is lefty Sean Newcomb who is in their rotation. Maybe the Braves will move back to town? Can always dream.
This is starting to shape up as a two-team race to the division wire. Both New York and Boston handled the Jays. And then think of the Angels. The Angels were reconfigured and expected to be a force. Boston and New York paid a visit and took a gloss off the ready for the big boys.
Successful teams usually have a dull and underperforming month. April certainly was not in that realm, but will May be? I don’t expect it, but I don’t expect a month of just single-digit losses. By the end of May, I expect that the conclusion will be the Jays are a solid shot at third place in the AL East, the O’s will be getting ready to deal, and Tampa will be a spoiler.