Realistically, taking the long view, I am thinking that if they can take 6 of the 10, we should not complain too loudly. Even 5-5 would okay.
Here is what I see. If they were to win 6 of 10, they would basically be maintaining what they have done all year and that is playing .600 ball. They are at .598 (close enough). To be 6-4 that means 2 of 3 from the Yankees, split with Tampa, 2 of 3 at Baltimore. 5-5 means either losing three of four from Tampa or losing two of three from the Yankees or O’s.
Losing 3 of 4 to Tampa would be very disappointing especially being home and a little disappointing would be going 1-2 at home with the Yankees, so if they are going to be 5-5, the most acceptable way would be taking those 4 of 7 at home and then going 1-2 in Baltimore.
While it would nice to go 7-3, let’s be a little real here. To do that means either taking 3 of 4 against Tampa or sweeping one of the others series. While I always hope, I never say they SHOULD sweep even against the worst teams. After, as bad as Houston may be, they will still win about 60 games before the season is over. They do beat good teams over the course of 162. Splitting with Tampa, while it doesn’t make then going away any faster, does take four games off the schedule with them.
Much has been made that Tampa has been hot. Do we think they aren’t going to lose again. They’re hot at this time. So have other been so far. The Orioles made a run and then fell back a bit; the Yankees made a run and they did the same. Toronto was getting uncomfortably close a couple of weeks ago and then they played the Red Sox. Now they are pretty back to where they were before they got hot (Their overall record is better, but GB is about where they were). And there a lot less games on the schedule going forward. One thing that will play out is that even though several teams are just 2-6 games behind, they do play each other and they will beat each other up.
The Red Sox have to take care of their business and that means playing somewhere in the .600 range. If they do that they will win 97 games and does anyone think that won’t be enough to win the East. My guess is 94-95 will get that done and 90-92 will get the top WC, while 88-89 might even snag the second. To get to 88, the Red Sox would have to be 30-35 the rest of the way.
Bottom line. Let’s enjoy the ride.