5 potential Boston Red Sox playoff opponents

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 1: Christian Vazquez
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 1: Christian Vazquez /

The Boston Red Sox are playing their best baseball in August, solidifying themselves as a major playoff contender.

With less than forty games to go for many teams, I couldn’t help but think of potential Boston Red Sox playoff opponents come October.

Based on current standings, I tried to come up with realistic teams for which the Sox could find themselves playing in several weeks.

1. Cleveland Indians

Much like in 2016, the Red Sox seem to be on a collision course with Terry Francona’s Indians. So far, Boston is 4-2 against Cleveland with one to go. This means that the Red Sox have already locked up a tiebreaker in the head-to-head category should the two teams finish with the same record. The Indians lineup definitely has more power with Edwin Encarnacion, but the Red Sox boast the best ace in Chris Sale. Should they face each other again, the series may, in fact, come down to bullpens. One thing is certain, however, the Boston Red Sox have the current edge.

BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 19: Chris Sale
BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 19: Chris Sale /

2. New York Yankees

Since starting off 3-6 against their rivals, the Red Sox have gone 4-2 in the last six meetings. In each of those two losses, Boston only fell by one one run. That being said, this series may come down to bullpen performance just like a series with the Indians would. However, the only way the two teams would play each other in the first round would be if one team was the wild card and the other the top seed. At this point, Boston is four games behind Houston for the top spot in the American League and New York is 2.5 up in the wild card chase. I personally think this would be a better ALCS matchup.

3. Minnesota Twins

Right now Minnesota is only one-half game ahead of division rival Kansas City for the second wild card. To play the Red Sox in the Division Series, Boston would have to win the division as well as the first seed and the Twins would in all likelihood have to beat the Yankees on the road. Earlier in the season, the Sox took three of four from the Twins at Fenway Park. Therefore, I like the Red Sox chances in a five game series considering they have a huge advantage in the starting pitching department.

4. Los Angeles Angels

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The Angels currently sit a half game out of the second wild card. Like Minnesota, this will likely only happen if the Red Sox are able to catch the Astros and claim the top seed – mainly because the only realistic way Los Angeles can make the postseason is a wild card spot. But the halos have had Boston’s number in their meetings this season, winning four of six despite being a .500 team without Mike Trout for most of the season. Should the two square off again, the Sox have a more balanced lineup and proven staff so I like their chances. But the historic October rivals have plenty of games to go.

5. Kansas City Royals

Like with the Angels, the Red Sox also struggled against Kansas City this season, winning just two of six. Two of the four losses came on blown eighth inning leads, meaning that, in theory, the two teams match up very close with one another.

That being said, this Royals team is very experienced in the postseason, so the Red Sox cannot afford to keep them in the game like they did in June and July. For the Boston Red Sox to beat the Royals, they’d need to rely more on their offense than they had previously.

Next: Boston Red Sox: Are the Indians Chris Sale’s daddy?

Should the Sox can make it to the ALCS and play Houston, I like their chances there as well.