After losing three out of four in Kansas City, going 3-4 through the first seven games of a 10-game road trip, the Red Sox still have a three game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays and a 4.5 game lead on the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. Tampa Bay is tied with the Oakland A’s for the lead the AL Wild Card race, while Baltimore sits a game and a half back.
The Red Sox travel to Toronto for a series against the Blue Jays starting Aug. 13, while Tampa Bay next heads home to face the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore travels to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. With the 2013 season getting into its final month and a half, here’s a look at the Red Sox schedule the rest of the way, as well as the opponents they will be battling with for the division or possibly a wild card spot. Next
Despite two come from behind wins against the Houston Astros and the (so far) successful return of Will Middlebrooks, the Red Sox lost three out of four games to Kansas City over the weekend and need to win two of three against Toronto to break even for the 10-game road trip. After returning home from Toronto, the Red Sox have a short three game home stand against the Yankees before heading back out on the road, this time to the west coast. The Red Sox will play six games out west, three in San Francisco against the Giants and three in Los Angeles against the red-hot Dodgers.
After their west coast swing, the Sox will come back to Boston to play series’ against the Orioles, White Sox, and Tigers, which will take them through Sept. 4. After that date, besides a two-game set in Colorado Sept. 24 and 25, the rest of the season will be entirely within the division, starting out with a four-game set in New York on Sept. 5, travelling to Tampa Bay on Sept. 10, and then coming home for another series with the Yankees on Sept. 13. The Sox then play Baltimore and Toronto at home to end their Fenway Park regular season, as they will be finishing up the 2013 season in aforementioned Colorado followed by a three-game series in Baltimore. Next
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays could not take advantage of the Red Sox struggles against the Royals, getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend of August 9-11. Half a game back of Oakland for the first wild card spot on Aug. 13, Tampa Bay heads home to play six games against the Mariners and Blue Jays, before hitting the road on Aug. 19 for a three game set against Baltimore. The Rays come back home for six home games in the next seven: a makeup game in Kansas City sandwiched between two home series’ against the Yankees and Angels. Tampa Bay then heads out west for 10 games against the A’s, Angels, and Mariners to end August and begin September.
The Rays return home on Sept. 10 for a series against the Red Sox before heading to Minnesota for three games. Tampa Bay comes back home for eight home games against the Rangers and Orioles to close out their regular season at Tropicana Field, before ending the regular season on the road with three games against the Yankees and three games against the Blue Jays.
The long west coast trip that the Rays have to take on, plus playing their final eight home games against Texas and Baltimore, two teams also fighting for their playoff lives, makes things very difficult for Tampa Bay closing out the season, suggesting they may have a higher hill to climb than the Red Sox in making it to the postseason. Next
Sitting 5 games back in the AL East on Aug. 13, the Orioles look to keep rolling as they have won four of five games so far on an eight game west coast road trip. Baltimore finishes the trip in Arizona on Aug. 14 before coming home for three home series’ against Colorado, Tampa Bay, and Oakland. The Orioles hit the road again on Aug. 27 to play the Red Sox, and then continue on to play in New York and in Cleveland through Sept. 4.
The O’s return to Camden Yards to play four-game sets against the White Sox and Yankees before heading out on a 10-game road trip Sept. 13, playing three games each in Toronto and Boston and finishing the trip with four in Tampa Bay. The Orioles end the 2013 season at home, with a series against the Blue Jays before the Red Sox come to town for three games for the season finale.
The Orioles have many chances to make up ground in the AL East, with three remaining series against the Red Sox and two left against Tampa Bay. Depending on how the wild card looks at the time of those series, the Orioles could also use those to make a push to get back to the playoffs the same way that they got in last year, winning the wild card for their first playoff appearance since 1997. Next
After leading the AL West for most of the summer, up by as many as six games as recently as July 29, a slump over the past dozen games has let the A’s fall behind the Texas Rangers for first place, leaving Oakland one game back heading into Aug. 13. After finishing up a series in Toronto, the A’s will head back to Oakland for nine games, welcoming in the Astros, Indians, and Mariners. The A’s head back on the road on Aug. 23 for a three game series against the Orioles in Baltimore, and then travel for a four-game set in Detroit.
Afterwards, the team returns to Oakland on Aug. 30 for 10 games against the Rays, Rangers, and Astros. The A’s hit the road again on Sept. 10, going to Minnesota and Texas for three games each, before coming back home on Sept. 16 for three games against the Angels and four games against the Twins. The A’s finish the year with a six game road trip, starting with three games in Anaheim and finishing the season with three in Seattle, a good final stretch against two teams that have underperformed this season and are considerably weaker teams than the A’s. Next
Losing the AL West on the last day of the 2012 regular season did not sit well with the Texas, and the Rangers have been looking to redeem themselves after falling to the A’s in three straight to end the year, then losing the wild card game to the Orioles. The Rangers have been on a tear recently, losing just once so far in the month of August and winning 12 of their last 13 overall. In that span, they have gone from six games back in the division on July 29 to take the lead from the A’s, holding a one game advantage entering Aug. 13. This stretch has featured some dramatic moments, including three-straight walk off home runs in a series against the Angels from July 28-30. The Rangers finish up a series in Houston before welcoming the Brewers, Mariners, and Astros to Texas on a nine game home stand starting Aug. 13.
The Rangers then hit the road for 12 of the next 15 games to end August and begin September, starting with trips to Chicago and Seattle, followed by a brief three game home series against Minnesota, then head back out to play the A’s and Angels. Texas welcomes Pittsburgh to Arlington on Sept. 9-11 for three games, followed by a three game home set with the A’s. The Rangers head out for their final road trip of the year on Sept. 16, starting with four games in Tampa Bay followed by three games in Kansas City. The Rangers end the season at home with a three game set against the Astros and four games against the Angels.
The Rangers have painful memories of last season, being swept by the A’s in the final series of the season, forcing them to play the Orioles in a one game playoff that they lost, so Texas will have great motivation to keep the pedal to the metal through the end of September. Seven home games against the Astros and Angels will help them with that, as both are at the bottom of the AL West and are looking ahead to next season. Next
Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians had a big opportunity to get back into the AL Central race with a four game series at home against the Tigers starting Aug. 5, but failed to win a single game in that series and instead find themselves vying for a wild card spot. Sitting 4.5 games behind the second wild card position on Aug. 13, the Indians head out on the road for a nine game stretch against the Twins, A’s, and Angels, before getting short break at home on Aug. 23 for three games against the Twins. Cleveland then heads back out on the road for a tough six game stretch in which they will play the NL East leading Braves, as well as another series against the Tigers, their last of the season against the AL Central leaders.
The Indians return home for a nine game stretch Sept. 2, playing three series against the Orioles, Mets, and Royals. Cleveland takes on its last long road trip of the season on Sept. 12, going to Chicago to play the White Sox for four games, followed by three games in Kansas City. The Indians play the Astros at home for four games from Sept. 19-22, while they will host the White Sox in their final two home games of the season on Sept. 24 and 25. The Indians end the year with a four game set in Minnesota starting Sept. 26.
The Indians have arguably the easiest schedule to end the year of the playoff contenders, with their final 10 games against the Astros, who, as of Aug. 13, are a whooping 43 games under .500; the White Sox, who sit at 27 games under .500; and Minnesota, who are 10 games under .500. Next
Kansas City Royals
After spending most of the past decade at the bottom of the American League, the Kansas City Royals find themselves in unfamiliar territory this far into the season, just four games out of the wild card on Aug. 13. The Royals are 18-5 since the All-Star break and have won seven consecutive series for the first time since 1991, which included taking three out of four from the Red Sox from Aug. 8-11. The Royals next host Miami for three games, followed by a pivotal five-game series in Detroit from Aug. 15-18. The Royals head back home after that to play three games each against the White Sox and Nationals, plus a makeup game on Aug. 26 against the Rays. Kansas City ends the month of August with trips to Minnesota and Toronto.
The Royals come home Sept. 2 to play for against the Mariners, followed by three against the Tigers. Kansas City heads back out on Sept. 9 for six games against the Indians and Tigers, afterwards coming home for six against the Indians and Rangers, their final series at home in 2013. The Royals end the season with six games on the road, starting in Seattle on Sept. 23, followed by a three game set in Chicago against the White Sox.
The Royals, like the Indians, are another team who could take advantage of a soft season-ending schedule, ending against the Mariners and the White Sox, but in order to take advantage, they need to survive a brutal middle of September, in which they play six games against the Tigers, six against the Indians, and three against the Rangers. It looks like the path to the playoffs will be a real uphill climb for Kansas City. Back to the beginning
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