clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Red Sox can clinch the AL East on Tuesday

Tuesday’s Say Hey, Baseball sees the Red Sox are close to clinching 2016’s toughest division, and the Twins (maybe) have a new boss.

Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images

Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

* * *

Every division winner has already clinched, save one. That can change on Tuesday night, though, as the Red Sox are six games up on their closest opponent, the Blue Jays, and with just six games to go. One more Boston win or a Toronto loss officially crowns a new AL East champion, and then all we’ll be left with is the two wild card races. The only way the Jays can avoid this fate is to sweep their series against the Orioles while the Red Sox are swept by the Yankees, and then the Jays would have a chance to tie things up with another sweep to close out the season, this one against the Sox. It’s not impossible, but it’s unlikely: Boston’s current playoff odds for the division are 99.7 percent.

What’s a little funny about this is that, while the Sox would be the last team to clinch, they’re also leading the AL race for home-field advantage. They have 92 wins, tied with the Rangers for the most in the American League — and one more than the AL Central champs, the Indians — and they have one fewer loss than both teams, as well. That puts them just a half-game up on the Rangers, so it’s not as if the lead is insurmountable. But it all just goes to show you how difficult the AL East has been in 2016.

In fact, the only reason the Red Sox are as far ahead right now as they are is because they’re riding an 11-game win streak and have won 14 of their last 15 games. Back on Sept. 6, when this stretch began, the Sox were tied with Toronto atop the East, and the Orioles were just one game back of both teams. Now, the Jays and O’s are tied for the AL’s two wild cards, and set to face each other in a three-game series. Things changed in a hurry, but there’s still a chance — and a good one — that the East manages to send three teams to October. And we might just officially know which one is going there through the division by this time tomorrow morning.