Alex Cora on luck's role in amazing Red Sox season


PHILADELPHIA — Luck in baseball can manifest itself in ways other than just a blooper falling in.

The Red Sox have been so good entering Wednesday that they can play under .500 baseball the rest of the season, 20-21, and still set the franchise record for wins at 106. 

Naturally, some level of luck has been involved in a season that could put the Sox in position to challenge the major league record of 116.

One of the simplest ways to evaluate luck is looking at how many runs a team has scored and allowed, one of Sox consultant Bill James’ many claims to fame. Using that math, the Sox at 86-35 are five games better than what their runs totals would suggest, 81-40.

Sox manager Alex Cora is aware what those numbers say.

“I don’t know, sometimes I’ll look at Baseball-Reference, their expanded standings, seems like we’ve been lucky for their standards,” Cora said on Wednesday afternoon. “Oh well. Hey, I’ll take it.”

But run differential wasn’t the first area that came to mind when Cora was asked how luck has played into the 2018 Sox season.

“For me, we’ve been lucky with the weather throughout the season … Baltimore aside,” Cora said. "We haven’t run into — and it’s coming when we go to Atlanta, we know it’s going to be hot — but we haven’t been to three cities in a row that it’s 92 and humid. And early in the season, although in Boston it was cold, it wasn’t that bad when we went to other cities. I think that’s luck, you know?”

Quality of starting pitcher is another matter out of a team’s control that Cora pointed to.

“Sometimes you face the No. 1 and No. 2 of teams every series,” Cora said. “And I think we’ve faced them, but sometimes we don’t.”


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