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Pace Yourself: Looking Back at August and Ahead to September

I can't believe we're already to the final Pace Yourself of the season.

The old saying is "take 2 of 3 from the bad teams and play .500 against the contenders."

In April, I asked for 13-9, and I was thrilled when the Yankees went 15-7.

In May, I asked for 17-12, but I got 16-13.

In June, I asked for and got 16-10.

In July, I asked for 17-9, and I was pleasantly surprised by 19-7.

WIth 29 games in August, split 14 & 15 between contenders and non-contenders, I asked 17-12. I can't really be disappointed by 16-13, especially considering that the Yankees started the month 1-4 and 3-6.

With a single game separating the Bronx Bombers from the Tampa Bay Rays, September is shaping up like a classic.

The contenders: 6 against the Blue Jays (after taking 4 of 6 from the Yanks in August, would you really call them non-contenders?), 3 with Texas, a crucial 7 games against Tampa, and finally 6 with Boston including the final series of the season.

The non-contenders: 2 with Oakland, 6 with Baltimore although the Fightin' Showalters are dangerous.

Following the formula I've used for these predictions all season, I'm asking for .500 ball against the contenders and 2 out of 3 from the non-contenders.

22 games with contenders (11-11) and 8 games with non-contenders (5-3), makes 16-14. That would push the Yankees to an impressive 98-64. If you had promised me 98 wins at the start of the season, I would have taken it without a second thought. But in 2010, it's very likely 98 wins won't be enough to win the division.