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Thinking About 16-12

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I didn't get to this sooner because I was relocating to the Garden State, but another month has ended so it's time to review the Yanks' performance and to establish a baseline for success for August.

I said last month that the Yanks should make up ground in July, and I called for a 16-11 month.  Instead, they pounded the competition and went 18-9.  They got swept by the Angels, but then they swept the Tigers and squeaked by the Twins.

Following the cliche about beating the bad teams, I keep looking for .600 ball against the guys below a .550 winning percentage and .500 baseball against the contenders.

Through the end of July, I asked the Yankees to go 63-42.  Their actual record was 62-41, and they had sole possession of first place in the division with a pair of rainouts still to replay.  I'm surprised at how accurate this cliche has turned out to be.

August figures to be a tough month, though:
5 with the White Sox (2 already played)
5 with Toronto
7 with Boston
4 with Seattle
3 with Oakland
3 with Texas
1 with Baltimore

That's 15 games with contenders, plus 5 games against a Toronto team that would be a perennial October club if they played in any division but the AL East.  The Yanks are going to need to really clean up against Oakland, Seattle, and Baltimore or we could be remembering August as the month the wheels came off.  On the other hand, a hot streak right now could seal the division like the 2006 Boston Massacre.

On the bright side, the travel schedule seems to favor the Yanks for a change.  The Yanks play 13 of the their 28 games at home, and the road games include all the non-contenders. At least there's an off-day between finishing in Oakland (10 PM start EST!) before heading to Boston at the end of the month.  It means that both home-stands are tough ones (Boston Toronto followed by Texas Chicago). 

Following my formula, I'm looking for 16-12, but I realize that with Toronto in the 'non-contender' category it could be uglier than that.  This is the month we finally answer the questions about the 2009 Yankees.