What makes the Red Sox performance this past month the more remarkable is that even beyond this being a rebuilding year and not even having the full offensive weapon set available to them they have been doing it in the context of a division that is just plain vanilla on fire. Consider:
- The Bill James heat index. Of the top five teams three of them, #s 1, 3 and 5, are all from the AL East. And the #11 team is AL East as well.
- In the last ten days one team has gone 8-2 (the Pirates) and seven have gone 7-3. Yep, four of them from the AL East.
- Collectively the AL East is 35-22 against out of division teams, 61.4% and leaving out the lowly Blue Jays it’s 29-15 or 65.9%. But consider the Jays – they are just one game under .500 against out of division teams (6-7) and (3-10) in division. That 61.4% is good enough to win 100 games a season. 65.9% is 107 wins. Either is likely good enough to win any division.
- Sure the Sox are on a pace to win a projected 117 games (ridiculous). But the Yankees are on pace to win 101 and the Orioles 97 and the Baseball Prospectus still thinks it will only take 90 wins to take the division. Something, as they say, gots to give.
OK, but still:
- The Red Sox haven’t been out of first place all season. (I know I should put this into the traditional games behind chart but I haven’t. Here’s what it looks like in terms of winning percentage:
- In terms of heat, yes the Sox are hot, but they haven’t been below room temperature but for a single two-day stretch! And they’ve been above 100* on seven days.
- At their current pace they are projected to win a disgusting 117 games. They won’t, but still.
And definitely check out the Yankee and Oriole projections as well. (And I cheated on the last to losses bar. Not there yet. I’ll fix it if they crash.)
So definitely an impressive April. For the division.