Alright. Let's talk playoff odds.
Yes. It is July. Yes. The second half started less than a week ago. So one might ask: why are we talking about the playoffs? Uh. It's because they matter... like more than the regular season.
As it stands on July 17 at 2:23 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), the Red Sox have a 51-44 record on the season. This means they were 10 games behind the New York Yankees in the standings and six back of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Baseball Reference, a great site for stats, really seems to be doubting the Red Sox, however. As of the aforementioned time, they only gave the Red Sox a 13.4 percent chance of making the playoffs and a 0.2 percent chance of winning the World Series. Here's why I don't believe that to be accurate.
If you take out the first 19 games of the season, the Red Sox have actually outplayed the Rays by two games in the standings. What does this mean? The Rays got off to a 14-5 start to the season. The Red Sox struggled to a 6-13 beginning. It means at that point early on in, the Rays had an eight game edge over the Red Sox. Not anymore...
Currently, the Oakland A's and Cleveland Indians have better records than the Red Sox, the boys from Beantown are three games back in making it to game 163. And truthfully, the Texas Rangers and LA Angels in the mix as well, just a game and 1.5 games behind the Red Sox respectively.
Finishing in second place in the AL East is still a possibility for the Red Sox, but it won't guarantee a playoff spot. Since there's so many head to head matchups, however, it does seem like it would have to be the Red Sox OR the Rays in the wildcard game. Both seems unlikely...