As the Red Sox prepare to resume their heretofore disappointing 2019 season, their opponents in the first series following the All-Star break will provide them with a sober reminder of what's gone wrong.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Sox' opponents in the 2018 World Series just 10 months ago, arrive at Fenway with the best record in either league. While the Red Sox study how to get themselves back into playoff contention -- they'll enter the second half two games behind the second wild-card spot in the American League -- the Dodgers can start printing playoff tickets.
The Dodgers own a massive 13.5-game lead over second-place Arizona in the National League West, a cushion that is the biggest of any division leader in the game. The start of the postseason is better than two and a half months away, but for now, the Dodgers must be considered strong favorites to win their third straight N.L. pennant.