The Red Sox have made good things out of an April that promised to be anything but easy. While their last four games against a hapless Astros team has done a lot to bring down Boston's strength of schedule, it's the first time Sox fans have really gone into a series expecting to take them all.
The year started with a run through the A.L. East, with four opponents who could hardly be considered pushovers. Ironically, the Yankees team which seemed the least impressive of the bunch is now the team just behind Boston in the standings, while the Jays--the powerhouse many feared would put them back in their place in Toronto--are dragging the division down with a dreadful 9-17 start. Then came the Indians, a team perhaps getting ahead of itself in hopes of contention, but still not to be taken for granted. The division-leading Royals followed, and then finally a strong Oakland Athletics leading up to the drop off against the Astros.
No, the schedule hasn't exactly been easy in April, especially with so many games coming one after the other. May, however, offers a different look entirely.
The first full series of the month will certainly not set the tone. After the Sox finish up a series in Toronto (the same one that starts tomorrow), they'll head off to Arlington to take on a Texas Rangers team that currently sits atop the AL West with a 16-9 record. From there, however, things drop off consideraby. Over the ensuing 26 days, the Sox will play 25 games, which include:
- Seven games against the Minnesota Twins
- Four games against the Cleveland Indians
- Four games against the Philadelphia Phillies
- Three games against the White Sox
To be fair, the Twins are 11-10, but they still have a ways to go to prove themselves significantly different from the 66-96 abomination of 2012. It doesn't help that they have a run differential of -1.
Also mixed in will be a series against the Rays and the first home series against the Blue Jays. Either of those could look a lot worse by the time they start, but at least for now they're not hugely intimidating either.
This is not, however, an opportunity for the Red Sox to relax, because they can't simply coast through this coming month. Instead, they have to absolutely crush it. This is their opportunity to build a nest egg, and a nest egg could be exactly what they need, because June is on the horizon?
What's so bad about June? Well...
- Four games against the Tigers
- Four games against the Orioles
- Three games against the Rangers
- Two games against the Yankees
- Four games against the Rockies
And then there's the Angels, who can't be this bad for long, to say nothing of another pair of series against the Blue Jays and Rays, with the latter including April's postponed contest. The Red Sox seem right now like a team that can take any given series from any given team. But with May looking the way it does, and June looking the way it does, it's best not to let the opportunity to build a big cushion go by the wayside.
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