The Boston Red Sox (53- 31) have a 12-game lead over second-place Toronto and New York, a 16-game lead over Baltimore and a 20-game lead over Tampa Bay. The guys from Beantown have the highest winning percentage in MLB– .631. They have scored 426 runs, which ties them for fourth in the AL. In runs allowed, they are first in the AL 328 and second in the majors. Only the San Diego Padres have allowed fewerâ€”281.
The Red Sox have a solid pitching staff even with Curt Shilling on the DL. And although their lead in the AL East is impressive, should everyone be that impressed?
Look at it this way. If Boston were in the AL Central, theyâ€™d be only three games ahead of second-place Detroit. Thatâ€™s not many games. But if they were in the NL East, theyâ€™d be six games ahead of the division leading Mets and about five ahead of the NL-leading Central and West teams.
Against the NL-West leading San Diego Padres, they were 2- 1, winning two by scores of 2- 1 and 4- 2 and losing another by a score of 6- 1. Thatâ€™s one of the best tests the Red Sox have been through, proving that they can win against a team that has stoking pitching. They also beat the AL West-leading LA Angels three of three.
They have also beat the second-place AL Central Detroit Tigers three of four and the first-place AL Central Indians two of three.
So, although the Red Sox may be in an easier division than some of the other teams, they have handled the top clubs from three other divisions, including one in the other league. But, they may not look as impressive as they do, if it werenâ€™t for the fact that the other clubs in the AL East are considerably weaker.
This weekend, with the All-Star break just ahead, the Red Sox face one more big challenge as they take on the second-place AL Central Detroit Tigers (49-34).