The Boston Red Sox started a six game home stand against the Texas Rangers and will continue with a series against Seattle Mariners. In a season with 162 games, every game is important. Here are five reasons why these upcoming games hold deep significance.
- One Quarter of the Season Is in the Books
After 43 games, a little more than 25% of the season, the Red Sox sit in the middle of the American League East with a record of 22-21. The Red Sox avoided a four game sweep by the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon and escaped dipping below .500 for the first time this season. In the last 10 games, the Baltimore Orioles have lost 3-7, including getting swept by the Kansas City Royals who are last in the American League Central. Now is an excellent time to close the gap between the 2nd place Orioles.
2. Texas and Seattle Both Play Poorly on the Road
Both teams have records that are under .500 while playing on the road( Texas 8-13 & Seattle 7-16). The Sox must take advantage of Fenway and it’s fans to provide that extra encouragement and drive to slingshot their way up in the division standings. Although the Rangers have been hot as of late winning nine of their last 10, the Red Sox evade facing their ace Yu Darvish in the series; instead facing three pitchers with losing records (Cashner 1-3, Perez 2-5 & Martinez 1-2).
3. Regain Offensive Consistently
The only thing consistent about the offense so far this year is that they have been inconsistent. It was questioned preseason if the lost presence of David “Big Papi” Ortiz would effect the Red Sox offense. Short answer, it has tremendously. The Red Sox are last in the AL in home runs (38) and only trail the San Fransisco Giants (35) in the MLB totals. The offense hasn’t been inconsistent in every aspect as they have collected 395 hits this season (seventh most in the MLB), producing the leagues third best average (.267) and fourth best on-base percentage (.337). Yet out of the 395 hits, about 68% of them have been singles. It was easy to score when Papi cleared the bases with one swing, but it’s a lot harder when you’re only moving them up 90 feet at a time.
4. Build Momentum for the Return of David Price
There has been an evident hole in the back of the Red Sox rotation that could easily be solved with the return of David Price. It would be vital for the Sox to obtain some momentum before the arrival of Price in this home stand. The less pressure for Price to perform when he comes back, the better off the team will be.
5. Build for Big Tests in June
The season is far from over, but it’s never to early to start looking ahead, especially in the competitive AL East. This upcoming home stand and the rest of May are essential for the Red Sox to regain traction in the division. Now with eight games separating the Red Sox from a series at Camden Yards and Yankee Stadium, now is the time to gain some confidence as a unit in order to prepare for the bloodshed battles between the new and old division rivals. The Red Sox are currently four games back of the first place Yankees.