Red Sox' playoff hope faint but existent

This is hard to write, but we have to tell the truth -- even when it is hard.

The Boston Red Sox season is winding down, and so are they chances of them making the playoffs this season. Are they still in contention? Yes, but so are a bunch of teams. The Red Sox have an outside chance of making the playoffs (4.3 percent, according to Baseball Reference). It's not much to look forward to, but how about we just break it down really quick?

As of Tuesday morning, if the season were to end today, the Red Sox would be six games back out of a wildcard spot. There would be three teams who "make it" past game 162 as the Cleveland Indians (.580), Oakland Athletics (.577) and Tampa Bay Rays (.576) basically all have the same winning percentages.

As we have discussed in the past, however, the Red Sox have outplayed the Rays virtually all season, Think about it: the Red Sox got off to a 6-13 start this season and were 8.5 games behind the Rays at that point. Since then, they've gained 2.5 games on the Rays in the standings, it's just that they are not closing that gap fast enough.

The issue the Red Sox face is the starting rotation. How could they make up this lost ground when Nathan Eovaldi and Brian Johnson are giving them three inning starts in 40 percent of their games? Chris Sale out for the season. David Price is on the Disabled List. Andrew Cashner in the rotation was a flop, so he is now in the bullpen. The staff is not in good shape.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't play well in October either, even though we know the Red Sox have the bats to compete against anyone. That is a fact that does not need to be checked.