I appreciate that you have been quite patient with my mishegas (craziness) again this year with the Red Sox.
I have also noticed that you haven’t ‘rolled your eyes’ when I’ve said that getting into the playoffs isn’t enough, that the Sox need to have the best record in the American League too.
But I’m not sure you understand just how important it is have the best record.
So a quick post for you to know why I am continuing to stress about my heroes even tho they will be in the playoffs.
If they have the best won/loss record that means the following:
1) They will have home field advantage in the two series they would have to play to get to the World Series. In the first best of five series and then in the second best of seven series if there are final games, those crucial games would take place in Fenway, home of the brave.
How important is that, you may ask?
Of the 81 games they have played at home this year, they are 53-28. They have won 65% of their games at Fenway.
Of the 78 games they have played away from home so far this year (they still have three left to play this weekend in Baltimore), they are 43-35, 55%.
Enough of a difference to matter.
2) They will face the winner of a one game Wild Card play off. And that team will have used their best pitcher in that Wild Card game, meaning the Sox won’t have to face the likes of say a David Price in their first game.
3) They will not have to face Detroit in the first playoff series. Detroit has both terrific pitching and strong hitting. And there is always the chance they will be defeated by the time the Sox have to play them.
4) They will not have to make two trips to the West Coast to play Oakland (going back for a final game if the series goes that far), which means they will be more rested.
But you may ask, “Don’t they still have to beat the Tigers and whoever wins the playoff games against the Wild Card anyway?”
But playing at home, playing with the most rest possible, and not having to face one of the best pitchers in baseball to get to the World Series all matter.
Those are not guarantees that the Sox would make it to the World Series.
But every advantage helps.