Is this weekend’s New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox series somehow fraught with meaning all of a sudden? Yes, the Yankees are in first place in the American League East and the Red Sox are in last, but now the gap between them is just 5½ games.
As the division turns, not much of anyone is very hot right now — except Boston.
The Yankees, at 5-5 over their last 10, qualify as lukewarm, but it’s enough for a three-game lead over the second-place Orioles, who are 2-8 over the past 10. Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays have gone 3-7 and the Tampa Bay Rays 1-9.
Boston, however, has gone 8-2 and carries a four-game winning streak into the three-game series at Fenway Park.
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“Everyone has their hiccups,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the Red Sox (via the New York Post). “Teams turn it around. They get hot.”
And thanks to the Red Sox, this series isn’t what it could have been. As the New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro writes: “As recently as two weeks ago, seemed like it would be a meaningless blur of 3-and-2 counts, four-hour death-march games and one angry, agitated fan base watching the Yankees bleed a little more life out of the Olde Towne Team’s season.”
Instead, we have hope creeping back into Boston fans’ hearts, watching to see if their team can send them into the All-Star break believing the second half will be worth watching.
“The games in our division are so important, and we’re all grouped together,” Girardi said. “They’re playing extremely well and they’ve gotten back in the picture, but I don’t think we ever thought they wouldn’t get back in the picture.”
Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.
The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning.
After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.
This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.
The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.
Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.
Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.
The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.
The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.
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The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.
Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor.
No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders.
The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.
The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.