Good news. The Red Sox are back in first place.
Well, sort of. While I can’t admit to understanding the calculated theories behind it (Al Catelli, my high school calculus teacher will attest to this) Baseball Prospectus’ Adjusted Standings, which uses a number of formulas and factors to determine how many wins a team should have, has the Sox atop the American League East with a record of 63.2-42.8. See, math is fun.
Adjusted Standings take into consideration a team’s total runs scored and allowed, strength of schedule, quality of the opponent’s hitting and pitching, and uses the Pythagorean expectation to determine which squads, in a perfect world, should have had better luck or more misfortune. According to the standings, the Red Sox and Twins should be leading their respective AL divisions. And the Orioles still stink (even though they’re eight games better, according to BP).
In the real world, meanwhile, the standings say that the Sox are 6 ½ in back of the Yankees and Rays for both the AL East title and the wild card. To win 100 games (because it increasingly looks like 95 won’t be enough), Boston will need to go 40-16 the rest of the way, which includes 10 games against the Yankees and six against the Rays, not to mention seven against the first-place White Sox.
All the Pythagoras in the world won’t help them there.