Seasons are filled with all sorts of challenges -- injuries, slumps, karma -- and the Yankees confront one Monday when they try to shake off a tough weekend in Boston and begin what they hope will be a chance to reset things during a three-game series on the road against
Seasons are filled with all sorts of challenges -- injuries, slumps, karma -- and the Yankees confront one Monday when they try to shake off a tough weekend in Boston and begin what they hope will be a chance to reset things during a three-game series on the road against the White Sox.
Here's what they have going for them:
• Twenty-four of the next 27 games against teams below .500.
• Eighteen of 24 games at home, where they have baseball's second-best record (38-16, .704) after Boston.
It's also an important week for the Mariners, who begin a 10-game road trip to Texas, Houston and Oakland at a time when they too could use a reset.
And what would the week be without the latest in our series of World Series previews (and this time we mean it): Dodgers vs. Athletics at the Coliseum on Tuesday and Wednesday.
As for the next seven days, we begin with 11 of 15 National League teams still very much in contention for one of the five playoff berths. In the American League, things are more defined with six teams jockeying for seeding and five spots.
Let's take a look at the best game each day:
MONDAY: Yankees at White Sox (8:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, MLB.TV)
Newly acquired right-hander Lance Lynn gets his first start for the Yankees and may be the right guy at the right time. His competitive fires burn hot, and his bulldog mentality may be what the Yanks need at a time when they're trying to keep the Red Sox within shouting distance in the AL East.
TUESDAY: Dodgers at Athletics (10:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Athletics have baseball's best record since mid-June. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have the NL's best mark since a 16-20 start. So let's play it like it's the 1988 World Series all over again. The A's are 21-9 in one-run games and baseball's only unbeaten team with a lead after seven innings (46-0). Khris Davis has 10 home runs and 22 RBIs in his past 14 games.
WEDNESDAY: Phillies at D-backs (3:40 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MLB.TV)
The Phillies (63-48) are 15 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. They've spent every day of the past month atop the NL East thanks to a pitching staff that is in one of its best stretches of the season. Philadelphia's rotation has a 2.51 ERA the past seven games. That nice stretch will be put to the test by an Arizona team that has entered Sunday having scored 53 runs in its past nine games.
THURSDAY: Braves at Nationals (1:05 p.m. ET, Facebook Live)
The Braves have bounced back nicely from a tough stretch in July to win six of seven thanks to a solid stretch of starting pitching and a bullpen that has allowed two earned runs in its past 21 2/3 innings. New relievers Jonny Venters and Brad Brach have combined for six shutout innings. Bryce Harper has reached base in 15 of his past 26 plate appearances as the Nationals have looked more like the team that was supposed to run away with the NL East.
FRIDAY: Mariners at Astros (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Astros have fought through injuries to some of their core players to reopen a solid lead in the AL West. They will hold their collective breaths until they get shortstop Carlos Correa (back) back and a better idea on the conditions of second baseman Jose Altuve (knee), right-hander Lance McCullers (elbow) and George Springer (left thumb).
SATURDAY: Pirates at Giants (9:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)
The Pirates on Monday begin a nine-game trip to Colorado, San Francisco and Minnesota at a time when they're fighting to maintain the momentum of winning 13 of 14 during a great stretch in July. The Giants are home for two against the Astros and four against the Bucs at a time when their postseason hopes are hanging by a thread.
SUNDAY: Nationals at Cubs (8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, MLB.TV)
The Cubs haven't been out of first place in the NL Central since July 11 despite injuries to Kristopher Bryant, Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow slowing the quest for a third straight division title. The Nationals are as healthy as they've been all season and are playing some of their best baseball.
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.