The New York Yankees schedule presents them with a good chance to get right back in the race, for not only a Wild Card spot, but for the division as well. It’s paramount the clubs not only wins each series, but to sweep some as well, which is asking for a ton at this point in the season. With the Yankees a full six games behind Tampa Bay and Boston, every game is huge. Let’s take a look at how the Yankees have fared aagainst division foes so far this season.
This is a huge series that the Yankees are currently locked in with the division-leading Rays this weekend. Tampa has played well against the Yanks, going 8-6 while scoring 67 runs and giving up 52. In other words, in the 14 games these clubs have played the Yankees have given up 4.7 runs per contest, while only scoring 3.71 of their own. The Yankees have yet to win a series against them, but came close in a four-game series when they took two back in late June. It’s imperative the Yankees take this weekend’s series in Tampa, as well as the upcoming series on Sept. 24-26. These games directly impact the teams in front of them in the standings, without having to worry about teams “helping” them.
The Red Sox have made the Yankees look foolish at times this season. After the beanball in Beantown last week, the Yankees will likely be circling the next two series against the Sox. At 5-7 (scoring 3.5 runs per game), the Yankees still have two more big series against the AL East co-leader. With the season hanging in the balance, the Yanks will take on the Red Sox in a four-game series at the Stadium just after Labor Day, as well as one in the middle of the month in Boston to close out the rivalry’s regular season matchups. Expect some retribution for what Ryan Dempster did to Alex Rodriguez, even if ARod got even in the game when he hit a bomb over the centerfield fence off Dempster at Fenway.
Baltimore has shut down the Yankees offense while taking seven of the 12 games they’ve played. At a mere 2.78 runs per game, the offense has been inept against an O’s pitching staff that ranks 11th in ERA, 13th in strikeouts, and 9th in hits allowed in the American League. I’m sure with a revamped lineup including ARod, Curtis Granderson, and Alfonso Soriano, the Yankees will likely improve upon the 5-7 record against Baltimore. Of the 12 meetings, the Yankees and O’s met six times during the Yankees Month of Offense Ineptitude when they were outscored by almost 36 runs over 30 days. The O’s are the first hurdle the Yanks must pass in order to move up in the standings.
Can the Yanks just play the Jays all season? The Bronx Bombers have teed off against the preseason favorites, amassing a 12-1 record. They have outscored the Toronto 69-41 (4.92 runs per game). Luckily for the Yankees, they play each other six more times and will need to take at least five to stay in the hunt. Also, Jays slugger, Jose Bautista, will be on the DL for the next meeting beginning Aug. 26, so their lineup wont be as formidable.
Not much else to really say here, other than the Yanks need to continue to roll against lesser opponents and outplay those teams in front of them. They’ve dug themselves a huge hole after playing two and a half months of bad baseball, but with a better lineup they can make a run at the postseason.