The Boston Red Sox are streaking into the playoffs. They’ve won 11 straight games and are making a mockery of the American League East race, clinching a playoff spot on Saturday night.

The next goal in sight for the Sox is the AL East title. They could clinch it as early as Tuesday night. That’s an important step for a team hoping to play deep into October. Winning the division means you get to avoid the one-game wild-card elimination game that kicks off the playoffs. Win the East and you can map out your plans for a best-of-five American League Division Series, which starts Oct. 6.

Since Major League Baseball added a second wild-card team in 2012, three of the four AL teams that won the wild-card game went on to lose in the division series. That would stand to reason since a wild-card team would undoubtedly use its top pitcher in that game, making him unavailable for the first two games of the ALDS.

This week, the Red Sox also will battle with Texas and Cleveland for the best record in the American League – and home-field advantage throughout the World Series.

Not that they need it. The Sox have won 11 of 12 games on the road, and have the best road record in baseball since the All-Star break at 27-14. That’s a remarkable .650 winning percentage. Boston is 7-0 on its current 10-game trip.

This team has come together on the road. The Sox faced a daunting schedule in the final two months of the season. This week they’ll wrap up a stretch of 29 of 42 games away from home.

The Red Sox have steadfastly refused to talk about the playoffs. Even after clinching their spot – a remarkable achievement, considering they had finished in last place the past two years – the Sox refused to even raise a glass for a toast. They have their sights set firmly on the bigger prizes ahead.

They’ve got a real chance to accomplish their goals. For the past three weeks this team has been as good as any in baseball. The Sox have the lowest bullpen ERA of any team in MLB, their starters have the lowest ERA in the AL since July 9, and the offense has scored the most runs in baseball.

And they are developing the swagger a team needs to succeed in October. During their winning streak they have rallied to win five games when trailing after five innings. They are a confident group. They believe in themselves, believe they can rally from a deficit at any time.

New England believes in them, too. This team has won over the region after two disappointing seasons.

Baseball is back in Boston – and it may be back for a while.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.