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Red Sox May Preview: Time to turn it around

April didn’t go according to plan. Now, they’ll look to fix that in May.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

April was mostly a disaster for the Red Sox. Their season-opening trip out west was as bad as anyone could have predicted, with the Red Sox losing all three series in the Pacific Time Zone before returning home. Getting back east didn’t even make things all that much better, with things bottoming out with a sweep against the Yankees in a short two-game series. Before the season, I predicted a 19-11 record. I’m going to blame my blind optimism on the fact that I was on vacation at the time. I can’t be held responsible for vacation brain. In reality, the Red Sox went 13-17 on the month, which no one really saw coming. The closest prediction came from BoSox Fan in Canada, Eh, who predicted a 17-14 record heading into May. So, uh, yeah, things didn’t go according to plan.

The good news is there isn’t going to be a long, arduous trip like the west coast swing with which they began their season back in March. They do have to travel, of course, but they never go further west than Houston. The month, not including today’s series finale at home against Oakland, starts with a seven-game road trip to Chicago and Baltimore. After that, they get a day off before starting an eight-game homestand that includes two days off. They do end the month with 15 games in 15 days, and after that eight-game homestand they go on a seven-game trip then come home for a quick three-game set before heading back out on the road to end the month. In all, the Red Sox play 16 games on the road in May and only 12 at home.

In terms of competition, it’s a mixed bag for Boston, who will want to get some wins under their belt early in the month. Again, they start with the one game against Oakland before heading out on the road to face off against a pair of rebuilding teams with four against the White Sox and three against the Orioles. They follow that with three against the Mariners, who had a hot start to their season but have been fading a bit of late. They also have four against the Blue Jays later in the month. Other than that, they play all playoff teams from last season. Over the second half of May they play Colorado twice, Houston six times, Cleveland three times and the Yankees twice in a series that extends into June. The Rockies are struggling a bit this year and the Indians aren’t quite the same, but that is still a lot of talent in what will be a brutal two-week stretch for Boston. In all, they have an even split of 14 games each against teams with record above .500 and teams below .500.

Overall, if the Red Sox are going to recover from a brutal month of April they are going to need to do the job early in this month. They really should win each of the first three series of the month, and while expecting a sweep is always tough it would be nice to see one in that mix. If they can get off to that kind of start here, they can carry that momentum and at least stay even during the tough stretch of baseball that follows. This is going to be a real test and I really wouldn’t be surprised by any outcome here. I’m going to go more conservative than I was in the first month, predicting a 15-13 record for the Red Sox in May. What say you?