a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Urgency has come early to the Red Sox. Having split the first 58 games of their season before a win Sunday night, they have exhausted virtually the entire margin of error allowable to get to 91 wins, the average win total for the 14 American League wild-card teams in the expanded postseason format. Their model now must be the 2017 Cubs, another defending world champion that suffered through an extended hangover (33-34) before waking up (59-26) to reach 92 wins.

The American League is thin, but the Yankees and Rays are legit postseason teams. Among other wild-card candidates, Oakland presents the biggest threat to keeping Boston out of the playoffs, with Texas and Cleveland looking like longer shots to get to 91 wins.