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Boston Red Sox: Updated Chances That They Make the Playoffs

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 21:  Pitcher Jonathan Papelbon #52 of the Boston Red Sox reacts afte striking out Howie Kendricks #47 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to end the game and earn a save at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 21, 2011 in Anaheim, California. Red Sox defeated the Angels, 4-2, in 11 innings.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Alex CarsonCorrespondent IIIApril 23, 2016

Well, this certainly isn't the start anyone expected, right?

The Boston Red Sox now sit at 7-11, are in the cellar and are four games off the pace of the New York Yankees in the AL East race.

For the first week of the season, it was easy to be relaxed and beg those in "The Nation" to remain calm because it was still early. After the second week, even the optimistic became nervous.

Now, as the third full week of games wind down, shock has rippled across Boston Harbor, rolled over the turnpike and settled over Fenway Park like a dark ominous cloud that promises nothing short of doom and gloom.

The Red Sox have 144 games left on their schedule. When you consider that, it tells you that it's still possible that they could turn this thing around in a hurry. The question, though, isn't about possibility. It's now about probability.

Let's say the club wins half of its games for the rest of the season. They'd finish with 79 wins. That would be nowhere near enough to win this division.

What if they played at the pace the Yankees have opened the season, and ran a .625 winning percentage the rest of the way? They'd finish with 97 wins. Of course, if the Yankees continue that pace themselves, they'd finish with over 100 wins.

Neither team may finish with that sort of a winning percentage, however. While both clubs have ran that sort of record in the past decade, with the Yankees doing it semi-frequently, it's common that no team in baseball finishes over .600 in any given year.

The Sox have a pretty big hill to climb, especially with so many other teams in much better position to capture the Wild Card early on.

To win the division, the Sox would probably have to play .625 ball the rest of the way (97 wins) with the Yankees playing no better than .590 ball (96 wins) and the Rays playing worse than .610 ball (96 wins).

This is nowhere near the impossible thresh hold yet. The Yankees pitching is a real weakness, and the Red Sox can't stay this bad. If both teams regress to the mean of their abilities, the Sox are still in this. They'll need to run off some nice five-to-seven game win streaks to make the hill easier to climb down the stretch, which won't be easy.

They've won two in a row, and six of their last 10. Now would be the time to rip off that big winning streak.

So, no, it's not impossible.

However, if this weekend is another disaster, I'd start putting my hope into the New England Patriots playing this season if I'm a Boston sports fan who wants to expend energy into hope.

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