By: Ross Sutton
Last night, the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 7-2 and clinched a playoff berth for the third straight year, tying a franchise record. The Red Sox have been a runaway train almost all season long, resulting in their current nine game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, and a 99-46 record. This is pretty unbelievable considering the Yankees have one of the three best records in the league. The combination of Betts and Martinez has been deadly all season, as the two MVP candidates rank first and second in the MLB with batting averages of .340 and .331, respectively. Martinez is first or second in each of the three triple crown categories and Betts has played great defense and been the catalyst of the offense all year. The Red Sox pitching staff has been led by Cy Young candidate Chris Sale, who currently has a 1.96 ERA, dominating opposing hitters whenever he has taken the mound. Craig Kimbrel has been terrific in the ninth inning this year, finishing off games as easily as he always has in his career.
Even with all this success in the regular season, the playoffs are where the Red Sox need to prove themselves, as they have not won a postseason series since 2013 when they beat the Cardinals in the World Series. As things currently stand, the Red Sox would be lined up to play the winner of the Wild Card game between the Yankees and A’s (sorry Mariners fans, it’s not happening) in the divisional series. If the Sox are able to get past the divisional series, they will play the winner of the Astros-Indians series, so they by no means have an easy road to the World Series, but it will certainly be fun to see how they do.
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