Red Hot Red Sox

There are few teams hotter than the Boston Red Sox right now and none that have helped the Indians more on their own quest to make it to the play-offs. The Red Sox have had essentially had the division title wrapped up since the beginning of September and a play-off spot even before that, but they haven't let up. So far in September, Boston is 10-3 after a 81-56 start to the year and now look like the strongest American League team heading to the post season.

From the point of view of the Cleveland Indians, this provides an interesting position. The Red Sox have been incredibly helpful in getting Cleveland back to the play-offs, but will likely be the team to remove them the play-offs if current trends continue. Just this month they have already won two series against the Yankees and one against the Rays, two of the top competitors for the second Wild Card spot. This success against their AL East foes is a continuation from the rest of the regular season as they have now won 12 of 19 games against the Ray and 13 of 19 against New York.

The final AL East competitor, the Baltimore Orioles are the only team to have any success against Boston, going 6-7 to this point. With six more games (including the final three of the season), however, they still have plenty of time to turn things around against the birds and knock them from the hunt as well.

On the other side, the Indians have went 1-6 on the year against the Red Sox, including a three game sweep in Cleveland in April that was part of a larger Red Sox seven game winning streak. The second time the two teams came together in Boston, the Indians won the first game 12-3 before blowing each of the final three games. This is even more daunting as it came when the Indians were playing very well during the beginning of the season behind Mark Reynolds and Carlos Santana, who both eventually came down to Earth. Removing the Boston games from the Indians first two months would have left them with a record of 28-19, showing that the Red Sox have hurt all the current Wild Card contenders at some point. The only solace the Indians have is that they didn't have to play them 19 times.

It may be a little too soon to think about the Divisional round of the play-offs with the Wild Card still out there to win and a one game play-off between the Wild Card winners, but right now the as the top team in the American League, the Red Sox will be playing the winner of that single elimination Wild Card play-off game. While anything can happen in a five game series, things are certainly going to get harder the further the Indians go.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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