THE NEW SEASON STARTS TONIGHT The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays meet tonight in the first of a three game series in the Rogers Center in Toronto. The Sox go into the series in first place, one game ahead of the Blue Jays and two ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. If the season ended today, all three of those teams would be in the playoffs, the Red Sox as the Division Winner and the other two as the American League Wild Cards. However, there are still 23 games for each team to play before the regular season is over. Looking at the schedule, it appears that the Red Sox have the tougher schedule of the three the rest of the way. The Sox play all 23 of their games against Eastern Division opponents while the Jays have seven games outside the division and the Orioles have six. So far this season the Red Sox have fared the worst against Eastern Division opponents, winning 28 and losing 25, while the Jays are 32-28 and the O’s 32-27. The Eastern Division, the strongest division for a long time, had faded over the last few years. Last year, at this time, the Eastern Division only had two teams over .500 and, this year, it is the only division in baseball with four teams over .500. Even the fourth place Yankees are only two games out of a wild card spot at this time. The Eastern Division, with a record of 364 wins and 331 losses has the highest winning percentage of any of the six divisions. Their winning percentage is 19 points higher than the second highest division, the National League Central. These numbers include all games, including inter-league play. By the way, for what it’s worth, the American League has won 157 and lost just 123 to National League teams this year. The Sox have a rough road ahead. Their starting pitching appears to have peaked going into the stretch. They have Uehara back in the bull pen and Kelly appears to be over his problems giving them another arm there. They have certainly demonstrated an ability to put enough runs on the board. It’s going to be a tough battle, but don’t count them out, this is a young team with unlimited potential. We are getting closer to a Fenway Park and Wrigley Field World Series every day.