Boston’s Playoff Odds Continue to Drop

Back on July 1st, the Boston Red Sox were riding high. They had just come off a 20-6 month and looked like a legitimate presence in the AL. The pitching, although still not a strong suit, was maintaining. The offense had found its rythym, resembling the 2021 version of the team. Everything was trending in the right direction.

Fast forward to the present day, and wow how the tables have turned. Boston went from hopeful contender to absolute dumpster fire seemingly overnight. Since July 1st, the team has gone just 11-24.

Back on July 1st the team was 43-33, 2nd place in the AL East, and in solid possession of a playoff spot. Today the team is 54-57, last place in the AL East, and five games out of a playoff spot. Unbelievable the difference six weeks can make.

Worst of all, things don’t look like they are going to get any better. According to FanGraphs, the Red Sox have just a 14.5% chance to reach the postseason. Just last week on August 3rd, Boston had a 33.9% chance to earn one of the three Wild Card spots.

The team continues to slide, and there are no reinforcements coming to the rescue. The team failed to add meaningful additions at the deadline. Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham were the only noteworthy additions made by the Sox. Hosmer was injured in last night’s loss to Atlanta. Pham is batting .281 since coming to Boston, which is solid, but not enough to help lift this team.

If Boston was serious about contending, they didn’t do much to show it at the deadline. On top of not adding the necessary reinforcements, they downgraded at catcher. Christian Vazquez is hitting .278 on the year, and is a solid defensive catcher. They sent him to the Houston Astros for prospects.

They are now switching between newly acquired Reese McGuire (who is batting just .241 on the year) and Kevin Plawecki (who is batting just .177 on the year). Not exactly the sign of a team going for it.

Without the necessary additions, and with a crippling list of injuries, this team is doomed. There really is no simpler way to put it. Time is not completely out, there are still 51 games remaining on the season. Five games is a good amount to have to overcome, but not necessarily impossible.

There’s a reason Boston’s odds are at 14.5% and not 0%. It’s small, but there is a chance. Miracles have happened before.

Unfortunately, I just don’t see it happening. Not with this team. The energy just doesn’t seem to be there. That’s the thing. It’s not just the fact that there are significant holes in the rosters. Nor is it just the fact that injuries are tearing through the team at a rapidly increasing rate.

It’s the fact that this team just doesn’t have the energy or vibes of a playoff team. I know “energy” and “vibes” aren’t exactly quantifiable. There are no stats that can calculate a team’s energy level. If you’re a fan of the team, or watch enough of their games, you can see what I’m talking about. They just simply look deflated.

Everytime you think they’ve turned the corner and will right the ship, they follow it up with a losing streak. Losing series to teams like Kansas City is just unacceptable. Especially when you play in a division like the AL East, where all four teams ahead span from Incredible to pretty good. Even the Orioles look pretty good this year and are half a game out of a playoff spot.

There are just so many obstacles ahead, this team to me looks like it’s dead in the water. I expect that 14.5% chance to continue to decline in the coming weeks. The Red Sox will still be competitive. They have too much talent not to be. My guess is they’ll hover around that .500 mark. They’ll hang around in the playoff conversations through the rest of August, but barely.

As an avid fan, writing this brings me no pleasure whatsoever. After last year’s incredible run, I had high hopes and expectations for this season. Unfortunately, Boston up to this point has failed to live up to them. With just a 14.5% chance to make the playoffs, and a miniscule 0.4% to win the World Series, I’d say those lofty preseason expectations will not be met this season.

Feature Photo by Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

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