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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

OK, Let’s Play Scenarios

OK, with tonight’s results in the books the Sox are locked in at worst being a game out on Monday morning with the knowledge that a win Tuesday would bring them even with whoever loses the Yankee/Blue Jay first game.  That’s a huge advantage for the Sox right now.  Looking at some scenarios the Sox should realistically be looking at 93 wins as a bare minimum (5-4 against NYY, Baltimore and Washington) shouldn’t be a big ask.  That requires the Yankees to go 7-2 and Toronto 8-2 to get there.  Toronto has 4 with Minnesota, 3 with New York and 3 with Baltimore while the Yanks have 3 with Boston, Toronto and a Tampa team with nothing to play for.

So let’s just throw some numbers, first, possibilities Monday morning (assuming Toronto sweeps for simplicity)

Yankee Sweep
NYY 89-67
TOR 89-67
BOS 88-68

Sox Sweep
BOS 91-65
TOR 89-67
NYY 86-70

Sox win 2
BOS 90-66
TOR 89-67
NYY 87-69

Sox win 1
BOS 89-67
TOR 89-67
NYY 88-68

Going through it like that you can see how much bigger this weekend is for New York than Boston.  The Sox are firmly in the catbird seat with even one win given the Blue Jays/Yankees series. Just carrying forward with the Sox losing this weekend 2 games to 1.

Sox win 2/Toronto wins 2 - Final Weekend Magic Number 2
BOS 91-68
TOR 91-68
NYY 89-70

Sox win 2/New York wins 2 - FWMN 3
BOS 91-68
NYY 90-69
TOR 90-69

Sox sweep/Toronto win 2 - FWMN 1
BOS 92-67
TOR 91-68
NYY 89-70

Sox sweep/New York wins 2 - FWMN 2
BOS 92-67
TOR 90-69
NYY 90-69

Sox win 2/Toronto sweeps - FWMN 1
TOR 92-67
BOS 91-68
NYY 88-71

Sox win 2/New York sweeps - FWMN 1
BOS 91-68
NYY 91-68
TOR 89-70

Sox win 1/Toronto wins 2 - FWMN 3
TOR 91-68
BOS 90-69
NYY 89-70

Sox win 1/New York wins 2 - FWMN 4
BOS 90-69
NYY 90-69
TOR 90-69

Sox win 1/Toronto sweeps - FWMN 2
TOR 92-67
BOS 90-69
NYY 88-71

Sox win 1/New York sweep - FWMN 3
NYY 91-68
BOS 90-69
TOR 89-70

If the Sox get swept in Baltimore they will be scoreboard watching in Washington.  But this is all predicated on the Blue Jays sweeping four from the Twins which is not a guarantee and also assumes the Sox only win one game this weekend and frankly I think any result from Yankee sweep to Sox sweep is feasible.  Right now the fact that no matter what happens this weekend the Sox will need to simply win Tuesday in Baltimore will put them tied for a playoff spot at worst is an awfully good scenario.

Frankly all of this feels very much like the end of the 1990 season.  The scenarios are kinda out there but the Sox are in the position they need to be in.  A two game lead with six to play is more than satisfactory.  The Sox can’t blow it this weekend, the Yankees (and Blue Jays) can.  Frankly if the Sox win this series they are almost certainly in.  If Toronto stumbles against the Twins (split or worse)…the Sox are almost certainly in.  The Sox still have to take care of business and they are flawed enough that that is not a guarantee but if you had told me in April they’d be here….I’d never have believed it.

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 22, 2021 at 11:11 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: September 23, 2021 at 09:58 AM (#6041225)
It's a shame that the division isn't closer, because the Rays' schedule ends with series against the Astros and the Yankees.

EDIT: Wait, that's a reason *why* the division isn't closer, right? The schedule disparity is probably worth about half the gap in the standings.
   2. pikepredator Posted: September 23, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6041231)
Amazing to think that going 6-3 (entirely reasonably) gets them to 94 wins . . . what a season it's been. Exciting and fun throughout. Now a bit of nail biting, but we're in pole position.

I am encouraged that - under assumptions like "Toronto sweeps this weekend" - these are very promising projections.
   3. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 23, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6041267)
2 - Yeah, I was kind of looking at it and suddenly realized that the Sox don't need a lot to go right to get in. It's not a gimme by any stretch (they've been swept by the Orioles this year so #### happens) but even playing mediocre baseball the next 10 days probably does the job.
   4. Darren Posted: September 23, 2021 at 01:29 PM (#6041280)
The head-to-head for Yanks/Jays is huge, as your scenarios show. One of those teams, who already trail by 2 and 2.5 games, will lose at least 2 of those 3 game.
   5. Monadnock Posted: September 23, 2021 at 03:23 PM (#6041321)
I see FanGraphs now has their playoff chances at 96.3%, undoubtedly reflecting some of the reasoning here.
   6. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 23, 2021 at 11:17 PM (#6041415)
The Blue Jays will not sweep the Twins. Worst case for Monday morning is now;

NYY 89-67
BOS 88-68
TOR 88-68

Sox host any tiebreaker game.
   7. John DiFool2 Posted: September 23, 2021 at 11:43 PM (#6041417)
97.5% now. Worst case for Thursday morning is to be one game behind someone.
   8. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 24, 2021 at 12:04 AM (#6041421)
That's amazing when you think about it. That's a huge loss by Toronto.
   9. Textbook Editor Posted: September 26, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6041834)
So can anyone explain why dropped 3rd strikes aren't reviewable but tag plays are? If a play results in a possible out, shouldn't it be reviewable?

It simply boggles the mind Joe West is still an umpire.
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2021 at 12:46 AM (#6041842)
Worst case for Thursday morning is to be one game behind someone.


I'm trying to tease out what a best case scenario would be. 1st Best Case is a Red Sox sweep and a Yankees sweep, as that would clinch a WC slot. 2nd Best case I think it would be a Red Sox sweep and a Toronto sweep, as this would mean the Red Sox are 2 up on the Yankees with 3 to play with the NYY having 3 games against TB (who might be motivated to knock them out of the playoffs completely, at least on Friday/Saturday).

At this point I might prefer a WC game against Toronto over the Yankees. But who knows.
   11. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 27, 2021 at 08:08 AM (#6041853)
So can anyone explain why dropped 3rd strikes aren't reviewable but tag plays are? If a play results in a possible out, shouldn't it be reviewable?


I hate replay for so very many reasons. No reason that can't be called. In fairness to Joe at live speed I thought it was a drop.

I think you're right about the best case scenarios. I don't have a preference (other than my general dislike for the Yankees) about who we play in the Wild Card game.
   12. Darren Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6041858)
Best case I think it would be a Red Sox sweep and a Toronto sweep,


Incorrect. Best case is the Red Sox sweep and the Yankees announce they are leaving the American League to play in Japan, effective immediately.

It simply boggles the mind Joe West is still an umpire.


I'm probably the only one who feels this way, but no matter how badly Joe umpires, I can never get completely angry at him after 2004.
   13. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 27, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6041863)
I'm probably the only one who feels this way, but no matter how badly Joe umpires, I can never get completely angry at him after 2004.


You are not alone.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 27, 2021 at 12:24 PM (#6041909)
It simply boggles the mind Joe West is still an umpire.

If you've got complaints about home plate umpiring, get in line. That call on Judge was about the 15th or 20th missed ball / strike call West made last night. That one was only more notable for the fact that it immediately and obviously affected the game's outcome.
   15. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: September 30, 2021 at 09:25 AM (#6042519)
Regardless of what happens tonight the Sox still control their own destiny. I can't get over the fact that this team is going to enter the final series of the season still in a playoff spot. That's nuts.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: September 30, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#6042521)
Here is my personal rooting ranking of possible wildcard game situations, from best to worst:

Jays at Sox
Mariners at Sox
Yankees at Sox
Sox at Jays
Sox at Mariners
Sox at Yankees
Jays v Mariners
Jays v Yankees
Mariners v Yankees
   17. villageidiom Posted: September 30, 2021 at 10:41 AM (#6042532)
I almost always have a fondness for teams on postseason droughts. Setting aside all the Red Sox preferences, any scenario that has the Mariners in the playoffs I prefer to a scenario that doesn't. I would love to see a 1977 expansion grudge match.

Since 1990 the 4 teams you mention have won 13 AL pennants, out of 30. And one of them has never won.
   18. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 04, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#6043570)
Scenario update:

RED SOX ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!

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