Breaking Down The Schedule
After two long days with no MLB activities at all, the 2012 season resumes today. Having no baseball at all to watch for two entire days really makes you appreciate the game even more, no matter how much you like it in the first place. One observation I made over the last two days was that the current crop of movies available on demand is a really bad one. When Hiroki Kuroda throws the first pitch tonight at Yankee Stadium, I’ll be happier than a woman getting a Coach bag.
The Yankees have played 85 games so far in the 2012 regular season and find themselves with a record of 52-33, 7 games clear of the Orioles in the AL East. The Yankees have been equally effective both at home and on the road so far in 2012 with a record of 25-16 at home and 27-17 on the road. In addition to a winning interleague record, the Yankees also possess a winning record against the AL East, AL Central, Al West, day games, night games, and on natural grass. The only sore spot thus far in 2012 for the Yankees is their 1-7 record in games that have been played on artificial turf.
The Yankees have 77 games remaining in the 2012 regular season. The breakdown of what is remaining looks like this: 40 home games, 37 road games, 20 games vs the AL West, 13 games vs the AL Central, and 44 games vs the AL East.
Lets take a look at how the schedule sets up and what to expect the rest of the way.
The schedule sets up very sweetly for the Yankees in the rest of July. Over the next three weeks it is possible that the Yankees could stretch their lead in the AL East to double digits. Six home games with the Angels and Blue Jays are followed by a one week, 7 game, West Coast trip to play the A’s and Mariners. This was a pretty nice break in the schedule this year for the Yankees. West Coast swings can be very tiring but off the break the Yankees should be fresh and the trip contains no games with Angels.
An off day on July 26th following the West Coast swing is followed by 5 more home games that end July, 3 with Boston and the first 2 games of a 3 game set with the Orioles.
Projected record for the rest of July’s games: 12-6
The schedule for the Yankees in August is very managable. The Yankees play 15 home games in August as compared to only 13 road games.
The last game of a 3 day series with Baltimore in Yankee Stadium starts August, followed by an off day that precedes a 3 game home series with the Mariners.
A 7 game road trip to Detroit and Toronto won’t be easy, but that trip is followed by a return home for 7 games with Texas and Boston. Then it is 6 games on the road with Chicago and Cleveland before ending July with 3 at home with the Blue Jays and the first game of a series with the Orioles.
Projected record for August: 16-12
As usual, the Yankees’ schedule in September/October is difficult. The good news is that it is very unlikely that it will matter. The Yankees should be as good as home in the division when the beginning of September arrives and won’t need much to win the Al East.
September starts with the last 2 games of a 3 game home series with the Orioles. A 10 game road trip to play the Rays, Orioles, and Red Sox won’t be a lot of fun, especially since at least 2 of those teams will most likely be fighting for their playoff lives.
A 9 game home stand with the Rays, Blue Jays, and A’s should provide a little relief before the Yankees head back on road for 7 games with Toronto and Minnesota.
A 3 game home series with the Red Sox ends the season. While its unlikely that the series will mean anything for the Yankees, it is very possible that it could have wild card implications for the Red Sox.
Projected record for September/October: 15-16
Titles are won in October, but divisions are won in June and July. Since MLB switched to a schedule heavily weighted with games between division rivals in September/October, it has actually been more difficult to catch division leaders.
The Yankees have built a 7 game lead and have the opportunity to blow it even further open with a very opportunistic first 24 games off the break.
It is important that the Yankees take advantage of their schedule off the break, maintain intensity, and go for the throat in the division. Achieving this would likely provide an opportunity to get players healthy, set, and rested in September/October for a playoff run.
Enjoy the rest of the season.