Boston Red Sox clinched their third straight American League East on Sunday.

Coming into their series in New York against the Yankees, all they needed was one win to clinch the division on enemy territory against their longtime division rivals. They ended up losing the first two games of the series but came away with the division in the final game with an 11-6 win. The Red Sox now currently have the best record in the major leagues with a record of 105-50. The magic number to get home field advantage throughout the whole playoffs is one according to Mass Live.

Here's a look at how the Red Sox got to the playoffs.

MVP candidates

After finishing as the runner-up in 2016, Betts has had another ridiculous season and is one of the favorites to win the MVP award this year. After struggling a bit last year which was in part due to injuries, Betts has a had a crazy good year with an absurd slash line of .339/.432/.625. Even with his small stature at the height of 5'9, Betts has shown that he has power as he has smacked 30 home runs and is one home run away from tying his career-high. Betts has also been a problem for opposing teams on the base paths as he has scored 121 runs and has stolen a career-high 28 bases.

What's crazy about the Red Sox is that not only do they have one MVP candidate, they have two.

J.D. Martinez, who was brought in on a five-year deal in the offseason, has been everything the Red Sox has wanted. Martinez is having a career year as he has set career-highs in multiple categories. He has a crazy good slash line of .329/.401/.624 with 41 home runs and a career-high 124 RBIs. He has also set a career-high in runs (106), hits (182), doubles (36) and walks (67).

Other offensive contributors

A team can't make the playoffs by only relying on two bats in the lineup. While Betts and Martinez are the best hitters on the Red Sox, they also have other hitters that have played a huge contribution in getting the Red Sox to clinch the division. Andrew Benintendi has done a great job hitting near the top of the lineup with a slash line of .286./.364/.464 with a career-high 39 doubles.

Bogaerts has brought back his power stroke with a career-high slugging percentage of .509 and has tied his career-high in home runs with 21. He also has a career-high 43 doubles and a career-high 95 RBIs.

As a team combined, the Red Sox has scored the most runs in the league with 820 runs scored, has the most hits with 1434, the most doubles with 330 and leads the league in all slash line categories with a .267/.337/.450 slash line.

Starting rotation

The Red Sox rotation is another reason why they were able to clinch their division. Perennial Cy Yong Candidate Chris Sale has pitched really well this season despite having multiple trips to the disabled list. Sale has gone 12-4 with an E.R.A. of 2.00.

He has also struck out 229 batters over 153 1/3 innings with an opponent average of .179.

After handing him a seven-year, $217 million contract in the 2015 offseason, Price has had his best season in Boston yet with a 3.53 E.R.A. with 171 strikeouts compared to 154 hits given up in 171 innings pitched. Following his Cy Young award win in 2016, Porcello struggled in 2017 but has bounced back this season by giving up fewer hits. Eduardo Rodriguez has done well this year as he went 12-4 this season.


In the past few years, teams have relied on their bullpens a lot. The Red Sox bullpen has done well which is led by all-star closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel has recorded 42 saves and has struck out 93 batters across 61 innings which gives him a great opponent average of .148.

Matt Barnes has also been one of the Red Sox go-to relievers as he has struck out 93 batters in 59 1/3 innings with an opponent average of .188. Hembree has recorded a career-high 74 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings, and Workman has an E.R.A. of 2.75.


Like they say, defense wins championships. The Red Sox defense has been fantastic all year long. The Red Sox might have the best defensive outfield with Betts in right field, Bradley Jr in center and Benintendi in left. The Red Sox also have great defensive players in the infield with Moreland at first base with Kinsler and Bogaerts patrolling the middle.