The calendar now reads July, but up until the end of last week the Boston sports world had been consumed with the two teams that play winter sports at TD Garden and a now-prisoner who used to catch footballs during the fall in Foxboro.
It’s safe to say that Boston is ready to shift its full focus toward the boys of summer and what fans will find today is a Red Sox team that has already amassed 50 victories. The Sox are the only team in the American League that can lay claim to that on July 1.
Boston (50-34) has to be just above .500 the rest of the way to creep into the 90-win column, a mark that has traditionally been good enough to land a postseason berth. A 40-38 mark over the next 78 games would net Boston 90 wins on the year. A 44-34 mark would give them 94 wins, making them a near lock to play postseason baseball.
In 2012, the Yankees won 95 games to capture the division while the Orioles grabbed the wild card with 93 wins. In 2011, New York won the AL East with 97 victories and the Rays slid into October with 93 Ws. In 2010, Tampa Bay wore the division crown with 96 wins and the Yankees had 95 wins to place.
The Red Sox have plenty of competition this year, however, in a stacked division. Baltimore (46-36), New York (42-28), Tampa Bay (42-39) and Toronto (40-40) are all over .500 and have reached the 40-win club. No other division in baseball has that distinction.