With the 11th walk-off win of the season for the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night, the team moved to a season-high 22 games over .500.
The chances of the Red Sox making the playoffs are off the charts.
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Red Sox have a 95.1 percent chance of making the postseason, including a 58.4 percent chance of winning the AL East over the Tampa Bay Rays. These are very strong odds.
Now, it seems the Red Sox are a lock for their first postseason berth since 2009, when Boston was swept by the Los Angeles Angels in the ALDS.
There remains a slim chance that a collapse could knock them out of the postseason altogether. However, the way the Red Sox fight back after blowing leads—rallying for six runs in the final frame on Wednesday night—makes this Red Sox team look like something special.
As of Aug. 2, the Red Sox relievers have blown 16 saves in 37 chances, which is the worst percentage in the big leagues. The Cleveland Indians are second with 19 blown saves in 44 chances. The Red Sox have won nine of the 15 games after blowing a save.
This may seem like a fluky stat, but it shows this Red Sox team has heart and is resilient enough to come back in games they should wind up losing.
With 52 games remaining, the Red Sox hold a one-game cushion over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays percentages stand at 92.3 to make the playoffs and 39.2 to win the AL East. According to Baseball Prospectus, the Rays have a higher chance of winning a wild-card spot at 53.1 to Boston's 36.7.
With Matt Moore heading to the disabled list with a sore elbow and the Red Sox's recent acquisition of Jake Peavy, it looks as if the Red Sox's starting rotation and potent offense will carry the team for a division title in 2013.
The race is far from over in the AL East, but the odds favor the Red Sox to at least win 94 games if they keep playing good baseball down the stretch. A collapse is highly unlikely at this point, but we all know what happened in 2011.
The 2013 Red Sox will find a way to will themselves to a playoff spot, but whether it will get in as division leaders or a wild card has yet to be seen.
If the Red Sox play well over the next three weeks before the schedule gets a tad tougher, then they will probably win the division outright. However, if they falter, the Red Sox may need to rethink their approach.
The odds are in their favor in 2013, but it is the heart and hustle that will keep this team in the hunt come the end of September.
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