The Boston Red Sox are still in contention for a wild-card playoff berth in the American League, but their odds of reaching the postseason as the All-Star break concludes are not too encouraging.
The defending World Series champions sit nine games behind the rival New York Yankees for first place in the American League East, and they are two games behind the Cleveland Indians for the second wild-card spot.
Overall, Baseball Reference gives the Red Sox a 26.4 percent chance to reach the playoffs.
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) July 11, 2019
Baseball Reference also pegs the Sox as a longshot to repeat as World Series champion with a 1.2 percent chance. The last team to win back-to-back World Series titles was the New York Yankees from 1998-00.
Whether the Red Sox advance to the postseason is likely to be determined by the outcome of their brutal schedule coming out of the All-Star break.
The Sox are back in action Friday with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead baseball with 60 wins. After a series against both the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, the Sox will undergo a tough stretch with two series apiece versus the Yankees and second-place Tampa Bay Rays. Yes, that's 14 consecutive games against either the Yankees or Rays from July 22 through Aug. 4. If the Red Sox survive that stretch with an above-.500 record, they should be in a good spot to at least be in the wild-card chase as the playoff race heats up.
The Red Sox have dug themselves a hole in the first half of the season, but there's more than enough talent on this roster to still reach the postseason. The margin for error is shrinking, though.
Red Sox's odds to make MLB playoffs after All-Star break aren't encouraging originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston