the final 3 games of the season series between the reds sox and yankees will be played this weekend at the new yankee stadium. the yankees go into the weekend with a 5.5 game lead (5 in the lost column). the red sox must sweep all 3 games to stay in the divisional race. if not, however, the red sox are a lock for the wild card playoff berth.
the red sox currently lead the season series 9 games to 6. it has been a see saw series. early in the season, while the red sox were hot and the yankees cold, the red sox won the first 8 games. the sox built a 4 game lead. in august the yankees caught fire. they have beaten the red sox in 6 of the last 7 games and have been comfortably in 1st place ever since.
friday night's pitching match up is intriguing - jon lester vs. joba. lester has been pitching great and joba hasn't. it's hard to imagine joba going even 4 effective innings. the edge goes to boston. in game 2 on saturday, it's dice-k vs. sabbathia. it's a tough one to call. the edge the yankees have is that the games are at yankee stadium. sunday's match up is paul byrd vs. andy pettitte. andy has been so good for the yankees this year. my guess is that pettitte is getting tired of the long season and his effectiveness will diminish now and through the playoffs. still it's hard to imagine byrd shutting down yankees hitters.
prediction - yankees win 2 of 3. so we can look forward to the divisional series of yankees vs. tigers and angels vs. red sox. just one more month until another baseball season is over. and then i turn into the "winter me" (courtesy of jimmy fallon in "fever pitch")