Move over Tris Speaker and Smokey Joe Wood, there’s a new Sox sheriff in town.

Boston won its 106th game Monday night, defeating the hapless Orioles 6-2 at Fenway Park. With the win, the 2018 Sox have now won more regular season games than any other team in the franchise’s history. That’s a pretty incredible feat, considering the Red Sox have been around for 118 seasons.

As if breaking a century-plus old record wasn’t enough, the Red Sox also clinched the best record in baseball. Home field advantage: actually good.

Mookie Betts: Award Tour

As has been the case for nearly all of 2018, Boston’s victory was spearheaded by the AL MVP favorite. Betts was electrifying once again, going 2-5 with a 2-run homer and a stolen base.

The dinger was an absolute rocket, and capped off a four-run 2nd inning for the Sox. Orioles starter Dylan Bundy hung a 1-0 breaking ball over the dead-center of the plate, and Betts went windshield-hunting on the Mass Pike:

Getting taken deep is nothing new for Bundy; he’s allowed an MLB-worst 39 big flies this season. As for Betts, he’s certifiably on fire again. He has 10 hits in his last 20 ABs, with 3 HR and 8 doubles. He’s also only one steal away from a 30-30 season. Betts has all but locked up the MVP award with an absolutely stellar year. He leads the majors in batting average and bWAR, and has been the most consistently excellent all-around player in baseball. Betts’ 2018 season is also the best individual Red Sox season (per bWAR) since Pedro Martinez in 2000, and best by a position player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. In short, it’s been a historic year, on a historic team.

Eovaldi Makes His Case

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday that Nathan Eovaldi had a chance to supplant Eduardo Rodriguez in the playoff rotation. Eovaldi certainly made his case for the 4th spot on Monday night. He allowed only 1 run (while striking out 10 Orioles) over 5 innings of work.

Rodriguez made his first appearance out of the bullpen, as well. He followed up Eovaldi’s start with two shutout innings of his own.

Manager Alex Cora has said who starts Game 4 of the ALDS will be matchup dependent. At this point it makes sense that Eovaldi has closed the gap on Rodriguez. E-Rod has been inconsistent in four starts this month after missing half of July and all of August on the disabled list. He’s posted a 5.79 ERA in his September starts, mixing a pair of solid outings against sub-.500 teams with a pair of poor efforts vs. playoff-bound Houston and New York.

Of course, who is actually slated to start that game could be a moot point. Should the Red Sox sweep (or get swept), or fall into a 2-1 series deficit, we might not see a 4th starter in the ALDS, anyway. Still, it’s a key theme to keep an eye on over the final week of the season.

The Red Sox have made history, and checked all of the boxes that they’ve needed to check this season. They can effectively plan for the postseason, having secured their place at the top of Major League Baseball and as the best regular season Red Sox team in franchise history.

Time will tell whether or not this has any bearing in October, when the records are reset to 0-0 and chaos reigns supreme.