About a month ago, I looked at Boston’s April schedule and decided that it was a chance for the Red Sox to get off on the right foot in 2017. They were playing at home for most of the month, and when they did travel they didn’t have to go very far. Overall it was a frustrating month for Boston but it certainly wasn’t disastrous. They currently find themselves in third place in the American League East with a 13-11 record.
Looking ahead to the coming month, it’ll be a more diverse schedule for the Red Sox. After facing primarily divisional foes to start the year, they’re going to be playing AL East opponents just twice in May. The first will be the first series of the month against Baltimore, which starts tonight. Later on in the month, they’ll be taking on the Rays at Fenway.
Besides that, they are going to be playing some series against teams that do not reside on the Atlantic Ocean. They’ll also be travelling a bit more this month, with 15 of their 28 games coming on the road. Their road trips include games in Minnesota, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Oakland and Chicago. The good news is that there isn’t any long road trip involved, but rather a couple of quick six-game trips.
One thing you may notice about those road series is that two of them — Milwaukee and St. Louis — will be taking place against National League opponents. This, of course, means they will be playing by National League rules and pitchers will be hitting. I don’t have anything to say about that besides NL baseball being garbage and I will not enjoy watching it.
In terms of overall talent level facing off against the Red Sox this month, it really depends on how you look at things. If you are going off how their opponents have played thus far this year, the combined record of Boston’s May opponents is 110-111. Three (the Orioles, Twins and White Sox) are above .500, four (the Rays, A’s, Rangers and Mariners) are below .500, and two (the Brewers and Cardinals) are exactly .500.
If you are basing it more on preseason expectations, things are mostly the same just with the teams shuffled around a bit. The Twins and especially the White Sox were not supposed to be this good. On the other hand, both the Rangers and Mariners were expected to be contenders in the AL West and are playing below expectations thus far. The Brewers are also playing above expectations while the Cardinals should be a little bit better.
Overall, I’d say this is a pretty good month for the Red Sox. In terms of the teams they’re playing, they aren’t facing a lot of elite talent. The bad parts of the month is the slight skew towards road games and the unfortunate task of playing by NL rules. Still, this could and perhaps should be the month we start to see the AL East favorites we’ve been waiting for.