Stock Up: Boston Red Sox
When the Yankees came to Fenway Park for a three-game series last weekend, the Red Sox were buried in last place in the division and 5.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race. What a difference one weekend against their rivals makes, as well as a trip to Minnesota to play the struggling Twins.
In just five days, Boston picked up four games in the Wild Card standings after they swept the Yankees and took the first two games of their four-game set against the Twins. What has been impressive during their run in the last week is that they are getting it done both offensively and defensively, something that wasn’t happening earlier in the season.
Offensively, they put 15 runs on New York in the first game of the series, then rallied to sweep a doubleheader on Sunday, combing for 10 runs in both games. Boston is 5-1 against New York since Nestor Cortes comments two weeks ago. Against Minnesota, Triston Casas had a three-run home run and Alex Verdugo drove in four of the nine runs they put up in the opening game. One night later, Masataka Yoshida launched a 447-foot home run. Christian Arroyo chipped in with a 5-for-5 performance with four RBI.
Boston had their winning streak snapped Wednesday night with a 5-4 loss to the Twins and are two games back in the Wild Card. However, making up 3.5 games in six days is an impressive feat.
The Red Sox are getting this done on the arms of Kutter Crawford, James Paxton, Brayan Bello, and some spot starters after Tanner Houck was hit in the face by a line drive against the Yankees Friday night and will require surgery. With Corey Kluber’s struggles and Chris Sale out injured, nobody saw this streak coming from Boston on the mound, never mind at the plate.