August 28, 2021

After Weekend, Red Sox Play 6 Games Against Rays In 10 Days, Can Solidify Postseason Chances

The Red Sox (74-56) are 7 GB the Rays (80-48) in the AL East, but they are 3.5 GA in the Wild Card Race. If the season ended last night, Boston would be playing at the Yankees (76-52) in the winner-take-all WC Game. 

B-Ref currently gives the Red Sox a 73% chance to make the postseason, though only a 1.4% chance at winning the division.

Boston has won five of its last seven games, but has actually fallen one game further out of first in that time because Tampa Bay has won nine of its last 10.

After this weekend's series with the Spider-Guardians, Boston will play Tampa Bay six times over a 10-day stretch: four games (August 30-September 2) in Florida* and three at Fenway (September 6-8). A strong showing against the Rays would go an awfully long way towards solidifying a postseason berth. Tampa Bay has won seven of the last nine games against the two teams.

The Red Sox also have three games against the AL Central-leading White Sox (September 10-12) and three more against the Yankees (September 17-19). They also play the Orioles six more times and finish the season with three games against the Nationals, who are currently 17 games under .500.

* More Floridians are contracting COVID-19, being hospitalized, and dying than at any previous point in the pandemic, while the governor works overtime to ban all vaccine and mask mandates and sell drink cozies and T-shirts with phrases like "Don't Fauci my Florida" and "How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?", in the apparent belief that causing the deaths of as many children as possible will boost his 2024 presidential aspirations. (Kids don't vote, you see.) Perhaps he should try hawking them in funeral homes and cemeteries.

Joshua Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health: "We should behave like Delta is more severe. I think we need to take it very seriously." Michael Osterholm, director at the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy: "We're seeing many, many more children that are going right to ventilators."

Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming are also experiencing their highest surges in hospitalizations since the pandemic began; across the country, hospitalizations of people under age 50 are at their highest levels. The seven-day average for all new cases is roughly 142,000 per day (more than 100% higher than one month ago). 

In Georgia, 900 students in the Bulloch County School District (out of only 11,000) tested positive in the first three weeks of school. While many schools in the state have shut down, superintendent Charles Wilson has refused to institute even a mask mandate, despite persistent demands from teachers and many parents. He did, however, announce that students (well, the ones not in the hospital) would be able to "enjoy the liberty of wearing jeans for the next month". COVID cases in Georgia have tripled since the start of the school year and the average number of new daily cases among children ages 5-17 has quadrupled.

Dr. Charles Preston, a Louisiana coroner, calls the Delta variant "a very highly contagious and aggressive beast of a virus. . . . I just don't get why it's such a big deal to wear a mask. It really doesn't make any sense to me at all."


tedwilliams said...

I believe that you have taken the statements of Dr. Charles Preston, a Louisiana coroner out of context quoting him as saying " . . . I just don't get why it's such a big deal to wear a mask. It really doesn't make any sense to me at all."

If you go back and listen to his remarks you will find that he was encouraging, not discouraging, the populace to wear a mask.

allan said...

That was how I meant to present his comment. That wearing a mask is no big deal, very easy to do, and not worth storming a state house with an AR-15 over.