We are, somehow, more than halfway through the season and, in terms of months, exactly at the midpoint. After a torrid April and an impressive May, the Red Sox had another strong month in June and at the end of it they find themselves one game up on the Yankees in the American League East. Overall, their record stands at 56-28 after going 17-10 in June. That is a .630 winning percentage and a 102-win pace over a full season, and also their worst month of the year so far. Seems pretty good! Shoutout to OOLF, fishfans, xiii_dex and me for being one game off with our predictions. None of us got this month exactly correct.
June always had the looks of a difficult month with some tough travel schedules and very talented opponents. July certainly doesn’t appear to be a cakewalk, particularly on the bookends, but it shouldn’t be as grueling a month as the previous one. Plus, there’s the All-Star break in the middle.
In terms of travel, they don’t have to go across the country but they do have to spend the beginning of this month on the road. July starts, of course, with the final game of this Yankees series in the Bronx before the team heads to Washington and Kansas City for a six-game stretch. They do have one day off built in there as well. After that, they have seven straight games but it is a homestand before heading into the All-Star break. They’ll have another six-game stretch on the road coming out of the break before coming back and finishing the month with six games at home. All told, they have an even home/road split in their 26 games this month. They also have just one day off aside from the four-game break for All-Star festivities.
So, they don’t have an advantage of home games in July, but it’s exactly even and they don’t have to travel farther than Kansas City. The split of talent is where the sense of optimism can come in for Red Sox fans. It does start extremely tough with the first four games coming against the Yankees and Nationals, but it gets substantially easier from there. They finish out the pre-All-Star portion of the schedule with three against the Royals, three against the Rangers and four against the Blue Jays. Then, they come out of the break with three against the Tigers, three against the Orioles, four against the Twins and two against the Phillies to wrap up the month. In all, only six of July’s 26 games are against teams with a record at or above .500 as of this writing.
Things obviously don’t always go according to plan, but July certainly appears to be a big opportunity for the Red Sox to pad their record. Now, they just have to take care of business. I’m going to predict they do just that, finishing the month with a record of 19-7. What do you think?