The New York Yankees may have played some pretty important games so far this season. However, their most important stretch starts right now.
To say the New York Yankees are rolling would be a complete understatement. The Bronx Bombers are 56-28 on the season and within grasp of first place in the American League East.
They’ve been a pleasant surprise, especially while using rookies to fill some big holes this offseason. The season may have started off rough but the Yankees have picked it up immensely since their 9-9 start.
Now they embark on a 10-game road trip to round out the first half of the season. Then beyond that, they have a stretch up until the first day of September that is pretty favorable.
Well, it could be favorable if the Yankees decide to play it right.
From now until Sept. 1, the Yankees enter a stretch of 51 games that show them facing the majority of teams who currently own sub-.500 records. In that span, the Yankees play eight games of opponents over .500 (the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians).
That’s a pretty impressive stretch for this Yankees team who has been crushing the competition left and right. In fact, of the 18 teams the Yankees have faced this season, they’ve held a winning record against all but two of them (Washington and Baltimore, who they are tied with).
In this next cluster of games, they play the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Mets, the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox, to name a few. While they aren’t playing many teams that have winning records, this still constitutes as the most vital stretch of the year for this New York Yankees team.
Why? Because while these teams aren’t necessarily the best of the bunch, they serve as a true test for this Yankees team.
The Yankees have won so many games they probably shouldn’t have to start the season. These are now the games they should be winning and anything less will be a huge disappointment for this team moving forward.
Looking at their opponents, the Yankees should escape with a winning record, the operative word being “should.” If the Yankees do not, they could be in deep trouble heading into September.
Sure, they can’t gain on the Red Sox directly with these series but that means that every win counts in the grand scheme of things. The Yankees have, in the past, played down to the level of their opponents, costing them easy victories. That cannot happen during this stretch.
Every single game counts and these lesser opponents are games that they have to win to not only help gain momentum going into September but to keep them in the race with the red-hot Red Sox. Losing series to teams like Baltimore or Kansas City would put them in a funk that might cost them precious ground en route to the playoffs.
The baseball season is so delicate. It could all fall apart within a span of just a few games. For the Yankees, they have to continue to keep their nose to the grindstone, even though their opponents might have far worse records. Any of these teams can catch the Yankees off guard and swipe a series from them if the Bombers are not careful.
This whole season has been a show but this time, it’s really showtime. The Yankees need to buckle down and tear through this stretch in order to prove their worth. It’s not all about the great teams. Instead, it’s all about the teams that are lurking in the shadows.
These are the teams that could cause some major issues for the Yankees so that just means it’s time for the Bombers to pounce on this opportunity.