Seven games up with 15 left to play. That’s where the New York Yankees are right now, and it’s a position that roughly 27 other teams would love to occupy.
The Yankees’ magic number for the American League East title is down to 10, which means they can all but seal the crown, as long as they don’t embarrass themselves on a six-game road trip to Seattle and Anaheim starting on Friday night.
However, if the Yankees — 3-3 over their past six games — falter, there is a chance the Red Sox could apply some pressure as the end of the season draws near. The Bombers will have to fend with Felix Hernandez in the opener in the Emerald City, before looking to exorcise their demons against the Halos, who have beaten them in four of their six previous meetings this season.
Meanwhile, Boston will play seven games on a tour through Baltimore and Kansas City, giving the Red Sox a chance to pick up some ground before arriving at Yankees Stadium for the final regular-season series between the rivals next weekend.
On the other hand, a strong showing on the road by Joe Girardi’s team could make the upcoming tilt with the Red Sox meaningless. After Boston, the Yankees host Kansas City for three and finish off the season with a visit to the plummeting Rays.
Hence, if the Yankees can cut their magic number in half over the next half-dozen games, the champagne will be on ice by the time the Red Sox get to the Bronx.
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