Might as well use some this quite time in the winter to look ahead, starting with a look at some of the key points on the schedule, opportunities to either pick up some wins or grind through some tough matchups. These parts of the schedule stick out.
Every weekend in April
The Yankees won’t ease into this season. They open with a weekend series on the road against the Rays (first three games of the season should mean the Rays top three starters). The next weekend, their home opener is against Albert Pujols and the Angels. The next weekend, is the Yankees first road trip to Boston. The next weekend, back home for a division series rematch against the Tigers.
The entire month of May
In theory, the Yankees should be able to take advantage of the season’s second month. It starts with two games at home against Baltimore, then a four-game series in Kansas City. After a three-game set against the Rays, the Yankees play — in order — Seattle, Baltimore, Toronto, Cincinnati, Kansas City and Oakland. The month ends on the road in Anaheim, but the weeks leading to that Angels series should be a golden opportunity to pick up wins by the handful.
Tour of the National League East
The middle of June is all interleague, with a stretch of games that begins and ends with the Mets. On June 8, the Subway Series comes to the Bronx. Then the Yankees go to Atlanta, to Washington, back home to play the Braves, and then to Citi Field. At one point they’ll play nine of 12 games without a designated hitter. Keep that glove handy, Jesus!
A much-needed all-star break
Before the all-star break, the Yankees will be on the road for a week, playing three games in Tampa Bay followed by three more in Boston. Immediately after the break, the Yankees come home to face the Angels again. The team is going to want that four-day break in the middle.
The uncertainty of August
By the time August actually rolls around, we’ll probably know what to expect from the teams the Yankees play in the next-to-last month of the season. Right now, though, it’s hard to know what to make of a month that includes four games against Detroit, four against Texas, six against Toronto and three against Cleveland. Toronto always seems dangerous, Cleveland was a surprise last year and Texas should have the lineup but what about the pitching?
The only exceptions
As always, the Yankees finish the season with a bunch of games within their division. In the month of September they go on one extended road trip through Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Boston and the season ends back at home against the Red Sox. There are also six Blue Jays games mixed into that final month, plus a weekend series at home against the Rays. The only non-divison games in the final month of the season are should-be-winable series against the Athletics (at home) and the Twins (on the road).