The Yankees, as we sit with Masahiro Tanaka ready to take the bump twice this week, are tied with the Orioles for second place in the division behind the Toronto Blue Jays. Wouldn’t you know it, both of those teams come into the Bronx this week. This may be the most important week thus far and maybe even for the season.
First of all, its Tanaka time twice this week. The Yankees must win both of those starts. The way others on the staff are pitching right now, and the lack of offense, every Tanaka start is that much more important.
We are less than month away from the All-Star game and the AL is tightly contested. Even if you look at the wild card standings, everyone is single digits in games apart except for the Rays who are 10 games out.
The Blue Jays have lost six of their last ten and the Orioles are just 5-5 in the same ten game span. The Yankees started out on the west coast in great fashion winning the first four, but then the buzzsaw that is the Oakland A’s got going and they took the next two.
The bats need to get going again. They put together great at-bats but then Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez ruined that. They have to score more in order to compete with the Jays and the O’s. The Jays are third in runs, first in homers and fourth in OBP. The Jays and O’s are 23rd and 24th in opponents average though, so the Yankees have a chance to put up some numbers offensively.
Anything less than 3-3 would be disappointing. In order to keep pace the Yanks need a good week. If not, this could go downhill.