Here are three keys for the Yankees as they begin the second half of the season against the Red Sox on Thursday night.
1. Play up to their offensive potential
Aaron Boone has reiterated his faith in his lineup because they have put up big numbers in the past. It’s time for them to show they can do it again instead of leaning on old results, especially with the likes of Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit struggling to get going. Better situational hitting would also give the Yankees a boost from their 20th-ranked offense (4.16 runs per game).
2. Get Aroldis Chapman right
The Yankees closer entered the break as an All-Star, but certainly was not pitching like one. He lost his ninth-inning responsibilities after giving up 14 earned runs in a span of 5 ²/₃ innings. Boone wanted to find him lower-leverage spots before the break to work out his issues, but Chapman got just one. The Yankees need the Chapman from the first two months (0.45 ERA) if they are going to get anywhere.
3. Take care of business in the division
In the first half, the Yankees were 17-24 against their AL East foes, only holding a winning record against the Orioles (6-4). They have plenty of ground to make up to catch the Red Sox and Rays, and with 26 combined games left against those two teams, and the Blue Jays (currently tied for third), those take on double the weight.
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