The Boston Red Sox have spent most of 2011 leading the New York Yankees in the American League East. Now, the team is reeling off loss after loss and stand 2.5 games behind their hated rival. 

Even worse, they have seen a nine-game lead evaporate to 5.5. In between their early season struggles and current collapse, the Red Sox have had the best record in baseball. Could two slumps cost them a shot at the postseason fun?

Here are four factors that could determine their fate, as well as a wild card prediction. 

Begin Slideshow