3. @ Yankees (Aug. 18-20)
Every series against the Yankees comes with added weight, but increasingly so when both teams are fighting each other over a playoff spot. Boston and New York’s struggles in the first half of the season set up a riveting situation down the stretch where either one could sneak into the playoffs with a turnaround performance. Increasing the pressure is the fact they’re right on each other’s heels in the standings, with just a game separating them ahead of Thursday, Aug. 3’s action.
These three games could end up being crucial to the Wild Card race. A Red Sox sweep would put the Yanks in a serious hole and possibly make them consider taking their foot off of the gas, leaving one less team to compete with.
There’s also the matter of the head-to-head tiebreaker, which becomes all-important in tight playoff races. Boston currently owns it, 5-1, ahead of this series. With another four-game clash in early September, though, nothing is clinched yet. A comeback by New York could catapult the Yanks up the standings and give them the tiebreaker, which would make the Sox’s postseason path much more difficult.
We don’t want that kind of doomsday scenario to take place, so Boston needs to come out in full attack mode in this series a pick up where they left off. The Red Sox’s dominance against the Yankees this season, including a sweep in mid-June, shows they have this team’s number. Now it’s time for them to hand another beatdown to their division rivals.
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