Yankees-Red Sox Series Heats up AL East Race

Tanya Simon
July 5, 2018

 

From the start of the season, the New York Yankees were expected to take the American League East. However, a very determined Boston Red Sox unit just doesn’t want to budge from their top spot. The two heated rivals have been tussling for the lead all season, and just past the halfway mark, very little separated the Red Sox and the Yankees.

But, when the two met at the end of June for a weekend series, the elite-level teams that we’d expect to see didn’t turn up – at least not at the same time, that is. The New York Yankees won the series, winning 8-1, losing 11-0, and winning 11-1 to make up some ground on their rivals. It was a dull series, with neither team looking likely to spring a comeback once down on the scoreboard.

Regardless of how their latest meeting ended up, it gave the Yankees the bragging rights and a strong win stolen from the Red Sox as the two are drawn closer in the standings. Boston and New York will undoubtedly battle to the end of the season for every last win to stop the other from finishing as the AL East champion. The only question is: who will end up on top?

Yankees know it’s a two-horse race

With the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, and Baltimore Orioles so far behind in the standings, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone has finally come around to the fact that if the Yankees are to win the division, they’ll have to beat the Red Sox. Their series at the end of June gave them the bragging rights, but Boston has made the most of playing more games than the Yankees, going 7-3 coming into their 87th game. At the time, New York trailed by four games and three wins but had put together a 4-6 last-ten record.

Despite sitting on top for much of the season, the Boston Red Sox are expected to lose steam as the season progresses. They’re at +300 in the MLB odds on bet365 to win the American League, while the Yankees are at +190 and the Houston Astros are at +200. One of the key factors behind this is New York’s perceivably better schedule as well as their ability to grab wins in highly competitive games.

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Not only do Boston have to face the likes of the Cleveland Indians, Astros, Seattle Mariners, and Yankees more than New York has to face the Indians, Astros, Mariners, and Red Sox, but New York fares far better against these big teams. Following the series win against Boston, the Yankees are 16-6 against these top postseason candidates, while the Red Sox are 10-10.

 

The Houston Astros, despite boasting what many still label as the best team in the MLB, haven’t been the dominant force that was expected of them. Because of this, the battle for the AL East may end up pushing to reveal the winner of the American League. The rivalry between the two AL East clubs will keep them pushing to stay above wild card qualification.

It’s set to be an exciting second half of the season, with the Yankees and Red Sox continuing to go all-out to claim the division. While the Yankees are favored to come out on top, it would be foolish to count out the Red Sox just yet.  

 

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