The 2018 season has unfolded nicely for the New York Yankees since the team's 9-9 start in basically arctic conditions. The Boston Red Sox looked like a runaway and are still playing really well. However, the Yankees have been a juggernaut ever since they began their nineteenth game and they are sitting a half game ahead of the Red Sox (written before the end of Tuesday night's Red Sox finish). The somewhat amazing part of that statement is this run has been against excellent teams while the Red Sox schedule has been much softer.
This is not some sort of hate-the-Red Sox-sour-grapes kind of statement and it is certainly not the Red Sox fault as you play the schedule you are dealt. It is simply an observation. But Yankee fans should feel great about the fact that they have caught up to Boston despite a schedule that has not been apples to apples.
Let's take a brief look: The Yankees have played sixteen games against sub-.500 teams. The team is 11-5 against them. The Yanks have played 24 games against teams with a better than .500 record and are 17-7 against them (over .700 baseball).
Now, let's look at Boston. The Red Sox have played 26 games (ten more than the Yankees) against teams with less than a .500 winning percentage. They are understandably 18-8 against them. The Red Sox have only played fifteen games against teams with a winning percentage over .500 and are 10-5 against them. That's great as well.
The trend will continue for the next couple of weeks. The Red Sox play Oakland (so-so), Baltimore (bad), Tampa Bay (bad), Atlanta (surprisingly good, but the Sox play them at home with the DH intact) and the Blue Jays (so-so). It is not until the last day of May where the Red Sox have a top notch opponent in the Astros. But after that series, they play Detroit (bad), the White Sox (bad), Baltimore (bad) and Seattle (so-so without Cano).
In that same time span, the Yankees will play Kansas City (bad), Texas (bad), Angels (good) and Houston (good) but the schedule gets softer after that with Baltimore, Detroit and the Mets.
The bottom line is that both teams need to keep winning to keep fighting it out. The Yankees and the team's fans cannot be looking for the Red Sox to fall down with that kind of schedule. It will be rather difficult for the Beantowners to ever have a losing streak. The Yankees have played a grueling stretch and they have shown themselves well. It is going to be a heck of an interesting season.