We are somehow already two months into this baseball season, and it’s been a mixed bag for the Red Sox thus far. For some stretches, they’ve looked like a completely lost group of players with a rough combination of a lack of talent and mental mistakes. During other stretches, they look like a team loaded with talent, particularly on the pitching staff. It’s looked a lot more like the latter scenario lately, which has helped them finish off a (mostly) successful month of May in which they finished with a 16-12 record. On the season they are now 29-23, trailing the first-place Yankees by only two games.
Looking ahead to the month of June, they’ll have a chance early on to do some damage in the division. The month starts with a four-game stint against the Orioles, who they lead in the standings by 1.5 games. After that, they have one of their two off-days in the month before starting a three-game set in New York against the Yankees. This is likely to be the biggest early-season series of the year for Boston.
Those are the only divisional games of the month for the Red Sox besides one game against the Blue Jays on June 30, a game that starts a series to be continued in July. Instead, they face a diverse set of teams that includes squads from the AL Central, the AL West and the NL East. Of the 28 games the Red Sox play in June, 16 of them will come on the road, including seven to start the month and another eight-game road trip later in the month.
In terms of competition, it’s a pretty mixed bag for Boston this month. It starts off tough with those two divisional foes, both of whom are battling with the Red Sox in the AL East. From there, it gets a little easier with the Red Sox taking on the Tigers for a three-game set followed by a four-game series with the Phillies that includes two games at Fenway and two in Philadelphia.
It briefly gets more difficult from there with a three-game trip to Houston to take on the Astros, who have been arguably the best team in baseball to start the season. That is easily the biggest test they will face in the month. From there they travel to Kansas City, a team who has been good in recent years but looks to be back on the downswing at the moment. Finally, they end the month with a six-game homestand against the Angels and Twins. Los Angeles has been solid this year, but they will still be without Mike Trout when this series takes place and it figures to be a rough month for them without the best player in baseball. The Twins have been much better than anyone expected, and while it remains to be seen if they will keep it up four weeks from now they’ve been good enough that they deserve the benefit of the doubt for the time being.
So, the Red Sox will play eight different teams this month (not counting the one game against the Blue Jays), and four of them can be considered good and four can be considered bad. Obviously, splitting teams into a binary format like this is extremely simplistic, but it helps tells the story of the month. Baltimore, New York, Houston and Minnesota could be tests for this team, while Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles look like teams the Red Sox should handle. Opinions on teams like Minnesota and Detroit may vary.
The competition level looks like a bit of a wash, but with the number of games on the road and the lack of off-days, this could be a tough stretch for the Red Sox. The most important stretch is right at the start, though, and this intra-divisional road trip will set the tone for June. If they can do well in these first seven games, this could be the month that sets this team off. If not, it could be another frustrating month being spent around .500 for Boston. My prediction is another 16-12 month for Boston. Also, shoutout to cds7c, who correctly predicted the team’s record for the month of May in the comments of last month’s preview.
How do you think the Sox will do in June?