The AL East division is not what one would call the “easiest” of baseball divisions. Quite the opposite actually. The AL East is probably the best division in all of baseball. Four out of five teams are playoff/championship caliber. The lone exception is the Baltimore Orioles, but even they have been a little frisky this season.
Posting a winning record against that gauntlet of teams is no easy feat. Just ask the Red Sox, who currently sport a 9-18 record against the division so far this season. That’s….less than ideal. Boston has been exceptional outside the AL East, as they are 37-19 against the rest of the league.
There is no doubt though, Boston’s inability to win inside their own division is very troubling. Especially when you take into account they’ve only played 3 of those 27 games against New York. That means there are still plenty Yankee games on the horizon. Including a four game series coming up this week that is extremely important for Boston.
Again, it’s understandable why Boston would struggle against the AL East. The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays are legit teams. If they weren’t playing in this division, they’d be much more highly regarded. Baltimore is still not great, but much improved compared to past years.
The Yankees are the best team in baseball, and it’s not close. So not many teams would come out of this with a squeaky clean record. However, when you have championship aspirations like Boston does, you have to be able to beat the best. Going 0-8 in series against the AL East just doesn’t cut it.
There is still plenty of time to improve on this troubling trend. If things don’t improve though, it raises legitimate questions. Boston can’t exactly be a top flight contender if they can’t even hang with the teams in their own backyard.
Not only that, but if they don’t start improving, it opens the door for other teams to jump them in the Wild Card race. I have maintained that the division crown is New York’s to lose. Boston has to fight for the Wild Card, and right in the middle of that fight is Tampa Bay and Toronto.
The Red Sox have improved tremendously since their horrid start to the year. That being said, the past few weeks have seen things start to go backwards. Boston has lost 4 of their last 6 games, and 6 of their last 9. With the Yankees coming into town for a series, there is some definite pressure on the Sox.
There is no better time than now to show what the 2022 Sox are made of. Let’s see if they show out or fall short this weekend against New York.
Feature Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images