Math backs Bobby V.'s 'championship' talk

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is being mocked in some circles for saying in a postgame interview on NESN that if the Red Sox continue to play the way they have, "we’re going to win a championship.”

Valentine said it in the context of a recent stretch in which the Sox played 20 games in 20 days and went 11-9. But if you look at it in a broader context, the man has a point.

On April 21, after blowing a nine-run lead to the Yankees and losing 15-9, the Sox were 4-10 and had "hit bottom," according to Valentine.

Since then, the club is 18-12, the third-best record in the American League in that span, behind just the Baltimore Orioles (20-10) and Tampa Bay Rays (19-11). That's a winning percentage of .600. Overall, the Sox are now 22-22. If the Sox maintain that .600 pace, they would go 71-47 over their final 118 games, leaving them with a total of 93 wins.

Last season, the Yankees won the division with 97 wins, and Tampa Bay qualified as the wild-card team with 91 wins, one more than the Red Sox. There is an extra wild-card team in 2012, so if the Sox win 93 games, that should be good enough to qualify for the postseason tournament -- giving them a shot at Valentine's championship.