LADY AT THE BAT: Dog Day Duels with AL Central Opponents Key to Yankees’ Post-Season Hopes

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dog Day Duels with AL Central Opponents Key to Yankees’ Post-Season Hopes

Following a series of solid off-season acquisitions, including outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, and Japanese pitching phenom Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees appeared poised to return to the MLB Post-Season in 2014.

With the American League East currently considered one of the weakest in baseball, the Yankees entered the current campaign among the favorites in World Series future betting with odds of 14/1 to win their first title since 2009.

However, as the All-Star Break approaches, time is running out for the Yankees to challenge for top spot in the AL East, stubbornly held by the Toronto Blue Jays since late May

A major contributor to the Yankees’ mediocre record is their lack of success against AL East rivals. The Yanks have dropped nine of their last 11 against the AL East, giving up at least six runs in six of those losses as reported in the regularly updated news section of Bettingsports.

As the dog days set in, the Yankees embark on a gruelling 12-game road trip which includes their first good look this season at AL Central opponents, whom they had played only 10 games going into the 4th of July long weekend.

New York has played better on the road than at home this season, and has enjoyed a moderate degree of success against the AL Central in the last two years. The Pinstripes have dominated the Cleveland Indians, winning 11 of 13 against the Tribe, dating back to 2012.

Although they have lost four of their last five against the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees have played well on recent visits to Minnesota, winning 11 of their last 14 at Target Field.
However, the Yankees have had a tougher time against both the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees have struggled against both on the road, but must face the Tigers and ChiSox a combined 10 times in August before hitting the homestretch in September with 20 straight games against AL East opponents.

New York still remains a +225 bet to win the AL East, trailing only Toronto. But given their recent difficulties producing offence, combined with the strong likelihood of the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles beefing up at the trade deadline, the Yankees hope for playing meaningful games after Labor Day could hinge on whether they can get the job done outside their division.

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