Posted by Andy on May 18, 2010
A pretty good argument can be made that the season is already over for the Boston Red Sox in terms of making the playoffs. Please read down and then vote in the poll at the bottom.
- The Red Sox are currently 7.5 games back but more importantly are in 4th place. Even if they get hot they need the Rays, Yankees, and Blue Jays all to lose enough games so that Boston can get back in the race. All those teams losing a bunch is not all that likely considering that they play many, many games against each other.
- They are 5th in baseball in runs scored per game:
However the run-scoring is not as simple as that. Firstly, that first column is the average age of their hitters and you can see that they have the second oldest team in baseball. We've seen guys like Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell break down towards the end of the season and there's no reason to think that won't happen again.
Also, while they are near the top of the league in games with at least 9 runs scored:
...they are also near the top in most games with 2 or fewer runs scored:
So while they have had some games with high offensive output, more often they are struggling to score even an average number of runs.
While the pitching staff can certainly be expected to perform better (Josh Beckett is not going to finish with a 7.46 ERA nor should John Lackey finish at nearly 5.00) there is decent reason to think that the offense will improve all that much. Hopefully if/when Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron come back, things will improve somewhat.
- Coolstandings.com has the Red Sox now with just a 4.6% chance of making the playoffs. That's down from 42.2% at the start of the season.
OK now let's hear your opinion: