Yankees, Red Sox win­ning at his­toric clip

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - SPORTS+ -

In 1993, the At­lanta Braves and San Fran­cisco Gi­ants staged an epic duel for the NL West ti­tle, with Bobby Cox’s Braves win­ning 104 games and Dusty Baker’s Gi­ants fin­ish­ing sec­ond with 103 wins and go­ing home. The next year, Ma­jor League Base­ball in­tro­duced the wild card, in part to pre­vent a re­peat of the 1993 Gi­ants’ cruel fate. What we are see­ing this year with the Bos­ton Red Sox and New York Yankees sur­passes even that his­to­ryal­ter­ing episode. Roughly a third of the way through the 2018 sea­son, the AL East ri­vals are win­ning at a blis­ter­ing clip — with the Yankees on pace for 112 wins and the Red Sox 111. With 13 more meet­ings be­tween the teams, this divi­sional race sets up as a po­ten­tially un­prece­dented bat­tle of ri­val ti­tans. In the divi­sional era (since 1969), no two teams from the same di­vi­sion have won even 105 games in the same sea­son. As a re­sult, the win­ner of the Red Sox-Yankees race will ease into the play­offs as the AL’s top seed, but the loser will be forced to play — and sur­vive — a sin­glee­l­im­i­na­tion wild card game, pro­duc­ing a fran­tic fin­ish.

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