It was expected to be a battle of heavyweights tonight, as the Red Sox come into Yankee Stadium.
However, it hasn’t been that way all season. Boston struggled, while the Yankees had their share of injuries and kept on winning.
And because of that, after a few games, the Yankees odds remain within the top 3 at +800 below the Dodgers (+700) and Astros (+450).
The Yankees are going to look to pull away from the Red Sox. Winning their last eight series, the Bombers took first place and now are looking for breathing room.
And even with a 7 ½ game lead, the Yankees are not going to rest on their laurels.
“I mean, we’re playing the Boston Red Sox,” Boone said. “We know how good they are over there. We know that we have to play really well. But you can’t win Sunday’s game today. You can’t win three games today. It’s do what we have to do today — that’s our plan. That may sound like something on a billboard or whatever, but that’s how we approach it.”
So yes, as the cliché says, “Take it one game at a time.”
And in fairness, the Red Sox are playing better. They are trying to right the ship after a World Series hangover in April. Their best bet is to win this series.
Their manager knows that and will be looking for blood.
“I do feel that the first 11 games of the season was just a bad stretch,” Sox manager Alex Cora said Thursday. “We didn’t pitch well, we didn’t play good defense. That’s something that surprised me. We were slow actually the first part of the season and then little by little we started getting better and obviously we started pitching better.
“It was a big difference. We do feel like we can be better. And when you start looking at the numbers, we’re on top of every category, but it doesn’t feel like we’re there yet. We wanted to be somewhere else, of course, record-wise. But I think overall the last three, four [weeks], the last month, we’ve been playing consistent baseball.”
That’s what the Yankees should expect this weekend, as the Red Sox look to make this a race. Sure the Bombers have a head start, but with four months of baseball left, it’s still early.
Why not start now.
Expect the Yankees to be ready.