The schedule makers snuck in an early Yankees/Red Sox series, searching for a narrative among teams expected to be sitting at the top of the American League East standings. Instead, the clash is being described as one to determine which club will utilize the series to turn its season around.
The Yankees (6-9) have battled a slew of injuries that leaves almost a complete -- and quality -- ball club on the injured list. Despite the injuries, the Yanks have held the lead in 14 of its 15 games, meaning there is clear underperformance buried in the squad's record.
The Red Sox (6-11), coming off a World Series title, are caught in the often traditional throes of the impact of a long postseason at the outset of a new year. The Sox are mostly healthy, but the club has had a difficult time getting fully on track. As both teams look to reverse course, which areas can the clubs expect improvement in and which aspects might not get better?