Boston Red Sox: Six Keys in the American League Pennant Race

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Boston Red Sox: Six Keys in the American League Pennant Race
Harry How/Getty Images
Will Big Papi and V-Mart be hugging into October?

Tony Massarotti said on the radio in Boston this week that the baseball season, for all intents and purposes, doesn't begin until August 15. The Boston Red Sox are inclined to believe that logic, given that much of what happened leading up to this month has been relatively forgettable.

A remarkable rash of injuries, silence at the trading deadline, wildly inconsistent performance. And yet, here they stand, just four games out of the Wild Card after taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays this week.

And with August 15 right around the corner and plenty of dates on the calendar remaining with both the division-leading New York Yankees and Wild-Card leading Tampa Bay Rays, somehow, a playoff berth remains within their grasp.

They still have the toughest uphill climb in the American League East, though, and it isn't going to be easy, especially with Kevin Youkilis gone for the year to a thumb injury in perhaps the most devastating of all the wounds.

But with August 15 right around the corner and the final six weeks of the season upon us, it's time to dissect just how—and how not—the Red Sox could find their way into the postseason. So here are three reasons why the Red Sox could reach the postseason, and three reasons they may not.

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