2020 MLB Season: Simulating AL games, June 29-July 2

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(Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

In this 2020 MLB season simulation, the surging Boston Red Sox make their move in the AL East race.

The New York Yankees have competition – lots of it – for the AL East lead.

In this week’s edition of the 2020 MLB season AL simulation, the Baltimore Orioles handed New York two defeats. When the Toronto Blue Jays, who have been tailing  New York for a month, also lost twice – at home to the Chicago White Sox —  it opened the door for a third team to enter the division fray.

The Boston Red Sox leaped through, sweeping a three-game series from the Seattle Mariners and creating what amounts to a three-way deadlock for the division lead.

Through 87 games, the Red Sox and Blue Jays are dead even at 48-39 while the Yankees, 49-40, sit just one percentage point behind those two teams.

Since the Blue Jays are scheduled to host New York and then visit Boston in the coming week, the race figures to only get more intense between now and the All-Star break.

The Red Sox, who’ve spent most of the season below .500, won for the eighth straight time. They are 13-3 since June 12, when they were 35-36 and six games off New York’s pace.

And it hasn’t been one player carrying Boston. Xander Bogaerts continues to lead the AL batting race, but Bogaerts was relatively ordinary against Seattle, which held him to three hits in 11 official at-bats, one of them a home run. Rather, the Sox offense broke out seemingly on cue, delivering where and when needed.

In Monday’s 11-4 victory, Alex Verdugo, Jose Peraza, and Christian Vazquez all contributed three hits, Verdugo driving in three runs. That made a winner of Martin Perez, 6-6. Light-hitting Jack Bradley Jr.’s three-run fourth-inning home run turned Tuesday’s game, a 6-4 Red Sox win.

Then on Wednesday, Collin McHugh shut out the Mariners for seven innings as Boston won 5-0. Bradley delivered three more hits and Verdugo drove in two more runs as McHugh lifted his record to 10-4.

Related Story: 2020 MLB Season: Simulating NL Games, June 26-28

In other AL action, the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles split a four-game series in St. Petersburg, Cleveland took three of four from the Houston Astros at Progressive Field, and the Minnesota Twins won two of three from the Detroit Tigers.

In interleague play, the Miami Marlins lost two of three in Oakland, the Atlanta Braves took two of three from the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals won two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Following their series with Miami, the Athletics hosted Baltimore in the opener of a four-game weekend series and won 3-2.

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