The Yankees may or may not be affected by the schedule drawn up by the MLB Gods. But it’s certainly something to pay attention to…
The Yankees’ schedule for the remainder of August and September represents yet another hurdle for the team to overcome. Especially with regards to their quest to gain the best record in the American League (over Houston) that will secure home-field throughout the playoffs.
Schedules matter at this juncture of the season. The Mets, for instance, will enjoy playing about sixty-percent of their remaining games at Citi Field. Not so for the Yankees who will have the comfort of home-cooking and Yankee Stadium for only twenty games (forty percent), following their trip to Toronto that concludes on Sunday. (Source: MLB.com)
The Yankees Schedule: Breaking It Down
While the Yankees currently have a respectable 47-34 record on the road, it does not compare to their 53-38 showing at Yankees Stadium. Most teams follow this pattern, so there is no reason to get particularly excited about that stat alone.
What does matter, however, is a looming road trip that will commence on August 20 to the West Coast. Following the Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Seattle Mariners for three games each, the Yankees do not return home until August 30 when they will square off against the A’s again.
Interspersed over August and September are games against the Tigers (3), Orioles (4), bottom feeders in the league. But then there are the Indians (4), the Dodgers mentioned above, and A’s for five games. The Red Sox and Tampa Bay chime in for five games.
None of this should matter. The Yankees, under the guidance of Manager of the Year candidate, Aaron Boone, have managed to ignore, and sometimes even capitalize on hurdles thrust their way. We know the history of all the injuries and the “Next Man Up” mentality of the team that has taken them this far.
But you never know, especially when the schedule could be kinder. At this stage of a long baseball season, the Yankees can only take it one game at a time. Veterans in the clubhouse like CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner will ensure they continue along that mental path.
West Coast trips have never been kind to the Yankees. Fans will recall, for instance, a six-game losing streak suffered by the team in 2017 that gave pause to the team’s quest for a spot in the playoffs. Conversely, the 2019 Yankees emerged from a late April trip to the Left Coast winning six of nine games. Go figure.
Does It Matter – We’re About To Find Out
Here I am sitting on the back deck penning these words while the Yankees are demoralizing the Blue Jays by a score of 8-0 – and it’s only the third inning. Gio Urshela, the most unlikely of Yankees to display any power, has hit two home runs and Mike Tauchman has added another. Can anything stop this team?
These Yankees are prepared to welcome any challenge presented to them. That is to say, anything they have control of mastering. Players come and fall by the wayside. Others step in, rising to the occasion.
But the schedule is what it is. It cannot be controlled or replaced. While we shouldn’t expect the Yankees to succumb to the schedule they are facing; we should at minimum pay attention to it Especially with regards to securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
That’s huge. And no one wants to see the Yankees playing the Astros in the seventh game of the ALCS – in Houston. That game belongs at Yankee Stadium – the schedule be damned.