Earlier, I was over at Flip Flop Fly In, the awesome site by Craig Robinson that has all sorts of baseball infographics. I was intrigued by one that compared the all time records of the White Sox and the Red Sox (a vernable battle of the, er, Soxes), and it got me thinking about how the Red Sox have done against other teams. So as Craig does, I headed over to Baseball Reference to check out the details and channel my inner Cliff Clavin.
Since 1901, the Red Sox have won a total of 8,877 games, while losing 8,270 (across AL and NL teams, although the vast majority of the games have obviously come against AL teams), giving them an all time winning percentage of .518. For comparison, that ranks the Sox 4th all time behind the Yankees (.568), the NY/SF Giants (.538), and the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers (.524) and basically tied with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Red Sox have had the most success against the Baltimore Orioles, winning 1,148 games against 930 losses, for a .552 winning percentage. Sadly, the Sox have had the least success against the Yankees, with 950 wins against 1,127 losses, or 177 games below .500.
What’s worse, the Yankees are one of only two AL teams who have scored more runs than the Sox in head to head competition. The Yanks are averaging 8% (0.39 more runs per game) more runs per game when playing the Sox.
On a relative basis, the Red Sox have had the most success against the Tampa Bay Rays, winning 60% of the game against them (139-92).
Surprisingly, the other AL team that has given the Red Sox trouble is the Cleveland Indians. The Indians are averaging 3% (0.14 RPG) more runs per game vs the Red Sox, and have beaten the Sox 1,019 times (vs. 956 wins by Boston). The only other AL team that the Red Sox have a losing record against is, of all teams, the Kansas City Royals. The Royals hold a 2 game advantage over the Red Sox as of today, however the Red Sox have outscored them by about 5% on a per game basis.
The Red Sox have the most absolute wins against the Orioles, the Oakland A’s (1,053), and the Detroit Tigers (1,018). They are the only three teams who the Sox have won over 1,000 game against. The next closest team to the 1,000 win plateau is the aforementioned Indians.
So there you go, a quick synopsis of what the Red Sox have done against the American League since 1901. You can see the full grid of stats against all MLB teams here. I didn’t include NL teams as there are just not enough games played against that league, leaving the data a bit unstable since there were so few games to draw from. One item that was interesting within the set of NL teams was that the Sox have only played the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds 6 times each during the regular season.