We are just about at the halfway point of August and the Boston Red Sox continue to hold onto their first place lead within the race atop the AL East. While wins are more than important at this juncture in the season, losing streaks can be equally as damaging.
The Red Sox have not been overly impressive over the course of the past week or so, but they have done enough to give themselves even more breathing room atop the AL East. How? Well, it helps when the Tampa Bay Rays are hitting a mid-August slump that is proving to be dangerous. Entering Wednesday night, the Rays have dropped six consecutive contests and in turn, Boston has boosted their first place lead to four games. This, comes just a few weeks after Tampa Bay had roared to the top of the standings even though it did not last for very long.
Either way, any additional comfort room that the Red Sox can find between now and the start of September will be crucial. As of Aug. 14, the lead stands at four games. It’ll be interesting to see where things are when Sep. 1 rolls around. It’s obvious that the Rays need to pump the brakes and stop the bleeding now, especially as they continue their series with the Seattle Mariners, a squad that they should be beating.
On the flip side, Boston is looking to garner a little momentum of their own against the Toronto Blue Jays, especially considering their four game lead could be even more had they not dropped three out of four to the Kansas City Royals over the weekend.
Jon Lester is on the hill for Boston on Wednesday, as the Red Sox look for back-to-back wins. Can the Rays put a stop to their six game losing streak or can the Red Sox add a little more breathing room as this mid-August week rolls along?