The Yankees take their slimmest of division leads on the road today, starting a three-game series vs. the Twins before heading to Toronto for a four-game set and ending the season hosting the Red Sox for three at the Stadium. No more off-days for the Yanks, who are in a sprint to the finish.
The O’s meanwhile kick off a seven-game homestand during which they’ll host the Blue Jays and Red Sox with a doubleheader vs. Toronto today and a day off between those two series. They then end their season at what promises to be a completely empty Tropicana Field with three vs. the Rays.
A quick look at the schedule reveals that a team to watch is the surging Los Angeles Angels. Their nearest rivals for both the AL West and the wildcard (Texas & Oakland) play seven of their last ten games against one another while the Angels will be playing seven against the lowly Mariners. And the three other games the Angels play will be against the Rangers. In the end, I will be surprised if the Angels don’t catch the A’s and, if they do, I’d rank them as the favorites to go all the way in October.
But first things first. The Yankees missed an opportunity to gain a bit of breathing room in the AL East yesterday but nevertheless continue to cling to the division lead. The Orioles certainly aren’t making anything easy.
Andy Pettitte squares off against Australian-born Liam Hendriks who is 1-7 with a 5.88 ERA on the season, though coming off one of his best starts (6.0 IP; 2H; 2ER) vs. Cleveland.