Curtis Thigpen helped the Red Sox increase their lead to 2 games in the East. (AP Photo)
Whenever the Red Sox have an off day you sort of get the feeling that you're a child again, gripped in a moment of fear as you wonder around the supermarket looking for your parents whom you've become separated from. That may be a little extreme, but it is disappointing when you know that the Sox won't be on the tube on any given night. The nice news from yesterday came from those spoilers we like to also call the Toronto Blue Jays. Not only did they sweep the Sox in a three game series last week, but they they took 2/4 from the Yanks in a series they could have easily won more then 2 games. Pretty impressive run for them, I just wish they didn't play so well against the Sox...or maybe it was the other way around...
Anyways, having our lead be at two games instead of one is beyond an advantage at this stage in the season. The Red Sox have six games left on their schedule and if they can win four out of the six they should be your 2007 AL East Champs. The Yankees have six games left as well, and they'd need to sweep to win the division in that case. Again this is all assuming the Red Sox win four games, which is anything but a given, so lets take a look at what both the Red Sox and Yankees are facing down the stretch.
As you can see the Yankees have the easier schedule as far as their opponents records, however the Red Sox have the advantage of playing all of their remaining games at home (even though there will be more Yankee fans at Tropicana Field then D-Ray fans). The Yankees games are split, three to three between the Devil Rays and Orioles, the bottom feeders of the AL East. Divisional games are tricky though, but I'd expect nothing short of the Yankees coming out swinging as they try to bury these weaker teams with the power of their line-up.
The Red Sox games are split up with two against the A's (who are coming across the country which is good for us) and four against the Twins. These teams are definitely stronger then the Yankees opponents, however we'll have the Fenway Faithful as a tenth man to rely on, and you'd have to guess you'll finally see Youk and Manny take some live swings before the playoffs. Seeing how management approaches the Red Sox line-ups (as well as how they use their pitchers) will really tell us if the Sox are aggressively going after the AL East, or preparing for the playoffs. I'd hope they'd be doing both because having the home field advantage in Fenway Park would seem to be a distinct advantage for the team. Either way this is going to be a fun week as we see things and teams fall into place. Let's Go Sox.