The Red Sox have a chance to take over the AL East with a win tonight over the Tampa Bay Rays. Somehow, it lacks the fanfare that would go along with a September battle between the Sox and the Yankees, but we’ll take it. Hey, it beats being an Oriole fan.

The Rays are just 6-7 in their last 13 games, all against AL East opponents. They haven’t scored a single run since they were Zauned in the 13th inning against the Jays. In short, they are folding under the late-season pressure like a lawn chair under a fat guy.

Meanwhile, with the exception of “The Wakefield Incident,” the Sox have been playing their best baseball of the season. They are on an 11-3 run and outscoring opponents 96-48. Paul Byrd is 4-1 since joining the Sox, and Coco Crisp is hitting an even .400 since August 1st. I don’t think I need to remind anyone what Youk, Pedroia, Paps and Lester have been doing.

Tonight, we get what should be a good pitching battle between Dice-K and Kazmir. And those “should-be’s” usually turn into 14-11 games but we shall see.

What are the odds we go two full games without a brawl?