As we begin another month, the Yankees continue to see themselves behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings. After today's loss to the Orioles -- the worst team in baseball -- Boston's lead picked up a half-game as it now sits at 5.5 games.
Ever since Boston took back their lead in the East, the Yankees have been fighting tooth and nail to get it back. It obviously hasn't worked out, as just when it looks like they are close to making a run, a bad game ensues. And that bad game usually comes against a bad team.
There is a trend the Yankees haven't been able to shake this season -- trouble against bad teams. This doesn't make sense considering the Yankees' status as a World Series contender.
Against other expected playoff teams this year, the Bombers are crushing these opponents with a 24-11 (.686) record this season. So, how is it that they're 12-12 combined against the Rays and Orioles this season? Or 4-3 against the Rangers and Mets?
There doesn't appear to be an answer to this conundrum. But, this August brings about a prime opportunity to change all that, and hopefully gain some ground in the division race.
Why? With the exception of the best team in baseball, they are the favorite in every series.
After their series with the Red Sox that begins on Thursday, every team but one (Rays) they play is under .500 for the season. Let's take a look...
- Aug. 6-8: White Sox (37-69)
- Aug. 9-12: Rangers (46-63)
- Aug. 13: Mets (44-61)
- Aug. 14-16: Rays (54-53)
- Aug. 17-19: Blue Jays (48-58)
- Aug. 21-22: Marlins (46-63)
- Aug. 24-26: Orioles (33-75)
- Aug. 27-29: White Sox
- Aug. 30-31: Tigers (47-62)
If the Yankees want any shot at claiming the AL East title so a Wild Card Game is out of the cards, taking advantage of these bad teams this month is the answer. They have a few new pieces in J.A. Happ, Lance Lynn, and Zach Britton to hopefully help in diminishing this trend as well.
The Red Sox do face most of the Yankees' same opponents in August. But there is a stretch from Aug. 14-26 where they have to face the Phillies, Rays, Indians, and the Rays once more. Those games are no gimmes, and the Yankees may luck out if they can put together a win streak similar to the one at the beginning of the season, where they won 17-of-18 games (April 21-May 9).
The time is now for the Yankees to make their push, especially with a tougher September in the future. New York will look to set the tone against the Red Sox, and more importantly, reverse their trend against inferior foes immediately after.