Yankees Interleague past and present

It looks like they have no eyes. Creepy. - Jeff Zelevansky

The best team in the history of Interleague play will try to get back to their winning ways starting today.

The Yankees will kick off their portion of the most widely despised part of modern baseball this side of the designated hitter: Interleague play. One of the staples of the Yankees prolonged success since the mid-nineties has been their continued success in Interleague play. Since the inception of the concept, the Yankees have by far fared the best of any team with a 170 - 112 (.603) record. Thumping on the National League became a sort of tradition for the Yankees. But just as many other things went awry in 2013 so did the team's performance against the NL.

Season

Wins

Losses

Run Differential

2013

9

11

-7

2012

13

5

25

2011

13

5

39

2010

11

7

5

2009

10

8

27

It was one of many areas where the 2013 Yankees seemed less successful than in many years. The division of choice in 2013 was the National League West and the only team that finished above .500 was the Los Angeles Dodgers. So the schedulers were fairly kind to the team last year, but it didn't seem to help them any.

Looking at the slate of games the Yankees have this year in Interleague play, it's hard to say if they were fortunate or not. There's the mandatory series of games against the Mets, which considering the team from Queens has rarely (if ever) been better than the Yankees since Interleague's inception, it has been a favorable scheduling quirk for the Yankees. Of course they got swept last year so a favorable schedule does not automatically portend success. The other games will be against the National League Central, which featured the pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals and two other playoff qualifiers in the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are struggling out of the gate at 4-8 and the Cubs have looked every bit the doormat that they were projected to be, but the Yankees and the rest of the AL East still look to have the toughest matchups in Interleague this year. It's nice to know that the Rays and Red Sox will have the same difficult opponents, but the competition for two Wild Card spots makes the scheduling imbalances seem all the more apparent.

It's usually folly to look at the schedule before the season and bemoan being stuck facing what was the best division in the National League since injuries and all manner of pratfalls can turn fearsome contenders into easy prey. But it would seem as of this moment like the Yankees will not get much of a reprieve from the grind of American League East play when they encounter teams from the senior league this year. The Yankees should do themselves a favor and rough up the Cubbies twice today, because the rest of their Interleague opponents might not be so ripe for the bludgeoning.

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