Still not time to panic. I want to run a little exercise with everybody. Let’s all hop in the Way Back Machine to the morning of April 1st, 2011. The sun was shining in Texas. Hope sprung eternal. Cy Young contender Jon Lester was about to take the mound for the Sox against the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers, who return a similar rotation to last year (Cliff Lee only had 4 wins for them, his loss is not as big as people think, at least in the regular season) and an improved offense with Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli added to the fold.
So, on this glorious April 1st, 2011 Red Sox opening day, I ask you, how many wins will the Red Sox have this year?
I am sure the answers will vary greatly, but from numbers I have seen on the internet and talking to a few folks, let’s put the Opening Day projected win total between 93 and 97.
Now I ask, what’s a realistic win projection for the first 6 games of the season. This includes two three game road series against a really good team, the Texas Rangers, and a not so good team, the Cleveland Indians, keeping in mind that for the Indians series we will have slow starter Josh Beckett and the biggest enigma to hit the streets of Boston since the Boston Strangler, Daisuke Matzuzaka.
I have not polled this out, but is it so unreasonable to expect a 3-3 opening road trip (1-2 in Texas, 2-1 in Cleveland) or even a 2-4 start?
Next, what do you think the Yankees record will be this year, assuming you all think they will be the Wild Card and closest contender in the AL East?
Again, from some discussions and numbers I have seen, we could reasonably guess 90-94 wins.
So, let’s all jump back into the Way Back Machine and return to present day. The Red Sox are 0-5, the Yankees 3-2 (probably a reasonable, if not slightly below expectations, record). With our opening season series prediction, we could have expected them to be 2-3 at this point.
After looking at all this information, at worst we are 2 games off the pace right now. Even though this is incredibly unscientific and probably not accurate, we could say that at worst, our projections drop to 91-95 wins, which is still ahead of the Yankees range. At worst, we are their equals right now, and I don’t know about you, but there is nothing better than being a Red Sox fan when they are locked into a season long battle with the Skankees (as X Dad likes to call them) for the AL East crown.
Take another deep breath, Sox Nation, and relax your sphincters. We have 157 games left to battle it out with our mortal enemies. It’s gonna be a roller coaster ride and I couldn’t be more excited.