First, an inventory of where we are in Yankeeland, and what’s coming up…
The Yankees are currently in first place in the A.L. East and have a 5.5 game lead over the second place Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees are on a West Coast trip where they will play 4 games against the Mariners and 3 against the A’s – and then will head to Fenway Park to play the Red Sox for 3 games (following an off-day for travel).
The Red Sox have a game at home this afternoon against the Tigers – and then hit the road for 3 games in Texas and 3 games in Toronto before that three-game set where Boston will host New York. (And, for the record, the Red Sox have another 7 games at home after that Yankees series.)
Next, today’s wild thought: How important is it for the Yankees to have at least a 3.5 lead over the Red Sox, at the end of their West Coast trip, before they head into Boston for those 3 games at Fenway?
Think about it: Yes, the Yankees took all four games against the Sox recently at Yankee Stadium. But, two of the games were very close. And, Boston plays extremely well at home. Those 3 games at Fenway are going to be tough for the Yankees. What happens if the Red Sox go 6-1 in their next 7 games and the Yankees go 3-4 in their next 7 games…and then the Yankees lead is only 2.5 games over the Red Sox before they play those 3 games in Fenway? If Boston then sweeps those 3 games…New York will come out of that series a half-game behind the Sox. And, that’s not good…
Bottom line, it seems like the Yankees really need to come out of this West Coast swing with at least 4 wins – just to ensure, no matter what Boston does now, and during that Fenway series, that New York will be in first place when they leave Fenway Park. Or, is that too wild a thought?