Should the Red Sox keep trying?

Rob Neyer

A few days ago, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was asked if the Red Sox would be sellers before the trade deadline. Cherington suggested that it's too early to give up on this season, however disappointing it's been so far. As FiveThirtyEight's Neil Paine writes,

That's pretty standard fare; Boston wasn't the only team in such straits to deny the obvious about its deadline-day status. But in Cherington'€™s case, such a statement might not merely be a case of brazen self-deception. Beneath the Red Sox's terrible record, there might lurk a good baseball team.

--snip--

By this measure, the four teams projected to produce the most WAR from the All-Star break onward are the Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox.

If you're reading this, that's probably not too terribly surprising. If you're reading this and you're surprised, then welcome aboard! You're about to run into a lot of really cool, really counter-intuitive ideas! And it doesn't get much more counter-intuitive than the Red Sox might be the fourth-most talented team in the majors.

As Paine does point out, this probably won't do the Red Sox much good. Even after sweeping the Royals this weekend, the Sox are just 46-52. To win 90 games, they'll have to go 44-20 the rest of the way. Which would be really unlikely even for the most talented team in the majors.

Might as well see how things play out over the next 10 days, though. If the Sox can get to .500 by the end of the month, or even within a win or two, it'll be awfully hard to give up.