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Red Sox September Preview: It can’t possibly get worse, right?

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The last month to turn this thing around.

Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The good thing about a team having a bad month is that, at the very least, the month has to come to an end. The bad play doesn’t, but a month only lasts a finite, predetermined amount of time. Considering this past month of August, which somehow could have actually been much worse, it’s good to know it can’t last forever. The Red Sox had easily their worst month of the season in August, going 12-16 and bringing their record down to 75-59 on the season. Shoutout to Rich Mann and grnmtnsoxfan in the comments of the August preview for coming closest to the correct prediction, both going with a 13-15 guess for the month.

Now, as we look ahead to September (and a little bit of October) the Red Sox are just barely hanging on to a playoff spot and have some tough competition on the docket. The month starts with the final two games of this Rays series, which starts a run of 14 straight games to start September against teams who currently hold a winning record. The good news is they close out the season with 11 of their last 14 coming against teams currently holding a losing record.

There is also a bit of travel coming in this early portion of the month, with two potentially huge road series. They have a three-game set against the White Sox, who are a lock to win the AL Central, and then they got out to Seattle for a short west coast stint against the Mariners. Seattle currently trails Boston by 3.5 in the wildcard race. In total, they have an even split of home and road games down the stretch with 14 at Fenway and 14 away from Boston.

Just looking at the outlay of the schedule in this final stretch, especially considering how depleted they are at the moment from their COVID outbreak, the key to holding on to their postseason spot would appear to be holding serve in the first half of the month. If they can keep their head even at water level for the first 14 games, they should be able to take advantage of the final 14.

I’m going to predict a 15-13 record for the month, which would give them 90 wins to finish the season. What say you?