It was an up-and-down first half of the season for the Red Sox, but the momentum appeared to be shifting for Boston as Major League Baseball entered the All-Star break.

The Red Sox have won five of their last six heading into the start of the second half and currently sit just two games back of the second American League wild-card spot. While there’s still plenty of time for Boston to enter the playoff picture — and maybe even tighten up the division race — ESPN’s David Schoenfield doesn’t see the club playing October baseball this year.

 

“I’ve been trying to believe in the Red Sox all season, but they have yet to establish any sort of consistency — and not just from the bullpen, which continues to rank poorly in FanGraphs’ “clutch” measurement (23rd in the majors),” Schoenfield writes. “Plus, guys like Marcus Walden and Matt Barnes, worked heavily so far, are showing signs of fatigue (Walden has an 8.22 ERA over his past 17 appearances and Barnes has an 8.79 ERA over his past 17 appearances). They’ll probably add relief help and David Price has quietly been very good (as has Chris Sale since his rough start), but they’ve also played more than half their games against both the Orioles and Blue Jays. I think they win 90 games, but fall just short of a wild card.”