It’s not quite do or die in major league baseball just yet, but it’s getting close. The final few days of the month of August bring about an important series regardless in the race atop the American League East and things could certainly get even more interesting in the coming days.
After taking two of three games from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox have some momentum and they have increased their AL East lead to 1.5 games over the Tampa Bay Rays. Sitting just behind Tampa Bay however, are the pesky Baltimore Orioles and the say-it-so New York Yankees. While the long, grueling month of September will ultimately be the deciding factor in the race for playoff spots, there’s no denying the importance in this late August series with Baltimore for the Red Sox.
Separation is key and a return to Fenway Park is critical heading into this week. Boston has an equal opportunity to separate themselves, not only from the Orioles directly, but also from the Yankees and Rays if they can take care of business on their home field. The flip side of this argument however, is the real key.
Baltimore is entering this three game stand with the desire to make some noise and finally close a gap with Boston that has seemingly been immovable for the past month or so. In addition to that, the opponents for both Tampa Bay and New York are not necessarily formidable in comparison to Baltimore. So if Boston struggles against Baltimore, things could be a lot closer heading into Labor Day Weekend.
There’s no doubt that this will be an interesting three game stretch for the Red Sox — can they gain some pivotal, late August separation in the AL East? Or, are things about to get more interesting as September is set to begin?