So the Sox are 2.5 up with 11 to play, 10 to play for the Tribe. Their magic number sits at 9. They have a three game lead in the loss column, which should be a good thing. They still have three games left against the Indians to finish the season. It's still hard to figure how the Sox could lose the division, if the Indians go 7-0 or 6-1 going into those last three games, then who knows anything could happen. But even if that happened, the Sox would have to play very bad to trail going into that final series. Anyway a quick look at what each team could/has to do in this race...
If the Tribe go:
7-0 (Sox have to go 6-2 be tied with the Tribe)
6-1 (Sox have to go 5-3)
5-2 (Sox have to go 4-4)
4-3 (Sox have to go 3-5)
3-4 (Sox have to go 2-6)
2-5 (Sox have to go 1-7)
Let's assume the Sox go 5-3 over their next 8 considering who they're playing and how they are playing. That would but the Sox at 96-63.
Now if the Tribe goes:
7-0, they'd be at 96-63 and tied, who ever won two of three that weekend would win the division.
6-1, they'd be at 95-64 and down one game and have to win two of three to tie the Sox.
5-2, they'd be at 94-65 and down two games needing a sweep to win the division.
4-3, they'd be at 93-66 and down three needing a sweep to force a playoff.
3-4, they'd be at 92-67 and the race would be over, Sox win.
The way the Indians are playing (aka the 1927 Yankees) they could easily go 6-1 and really force the Sox to play well. If the Sox can take three of four from the Twins and Tigers, they're magic number would be three or lower going into the Tribe series and probably only need one win to win the division.
The bullpen blowing that game on Monday is huge right now.
And I'll say it again, the Tribe are 35-12 since July 31st... that's amazing. They are playing way over their heads... sort of like the Sox in May and the A's in July. It's a matter of time before the Tribe cool off, it's just a matter of when. If it's this week, then they might not make the playoffs, if it's in two weeks, that's the first round of the playoffs. The Tribe are playing like the 1951 Giants who went 37-8 to finish the year and caught the Dodgers who had a 13.5 game lead when the Giants run started (meaning the Dodgers went about 24-21). When a team is that hot, it's hard to say that the other team choked. But if the Sox have a chance to win the division with those three games left against Indians and not win it... well then they choked.