There will be plenty of interesting news and nuggets coming out of the All-Star Game festivities later today – at this point, I’m pretty sure we’re about one more injury away from Damaso Marte making the AL team as a reliever – but since that’s still a few hours away on the West Coast, how about a quick look at the second half schedule for the Yankees?
According to research from Buster Olney and the folks at ESPN, the Yankees have the seventh-easiest schedule remaining among the 17 teams with over-.500 records. The Twins and Angels are the only AL teams ranked behind them (with easier schedules) and, obviously, the Rays and Red Sox schedules are both deemed tougher.
Why? For starters, the Yankees have the fewest games against over-.500 teams left (37 to 39 for both Bos/TB) and most home games (40 to 35 for Bos/TB). That may not seem like much, but in a division as good as the AL East, any edge is important.
Take a look at the schedule here – what stands out? To me, a “critical” stretch could be the Aug. 30 – Sept. 8 homestand: 10 games, longest of the second half and the opponents are Oakland, Toronto and Baltimore. If the Yankees take care of business there (say, 8-2? 7-3 at worst?) than the hard finish in September (series against Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rays) suddenly has a little more cushion.
Also, I’d never noticed before that you can get a “range” of StubHub prices when you look at the baseball-reference schedule page. What’s the most expensive second-half ticket being sold? Oddly, it’s currently (as I write this) the Aug. 2 game against the Blue Jays — where the range is $11-$350,000. I’m hoping you get more than just a buffet pass and some popcorn for that.
Since Chad is taking a break during All-Star week – he’ll pop in occasionally, but my guess is he’s vacationing here, here or here – I just wanted to take a quick moment to say thanks to all the readers who emailed/Tweeted congratulations over the past month or so.
It was very cool that good buddy Mark Feinsand mentioned the birth of my daughter, Riley, during the Yankees radio broadcast on June 4 (Riley was actually born about 20 minutes before first pitch that day) and, as you parents out there surely know, things have been tiring but amazing ever since she arrived. So thanks to all who checked in with kind words – my wife and I truly appreciate it.