BOSTON -- Who does the schedule favor in the American League East coming down the stretch?
The Red Sox play 18 of their next 25 games at home at Fenway Park, where they have a 40-23 record, which would suggest a big advantage, though they end the season on the road with two games in Colorado against the Rockies and three in Baltimore against the Orioles.
Tampa Bay has 14 games at home, 19 on the road, including 10 on the West Coast against the Angels (4), Athletics (3) and Mariners (3). Baltimore has 14 games at home, 19 on the road, while the Yankees have 16 at home, 15 on the road.
Strength of schedule? Not a big difference. The Orioles have the toughest road, facing opponents with an average record of 68-62. Red Sox opponents come in at 67-62, Rays opponents at 65-64, and Yankee opponents at 64-65.
The Orioles, who come into Boston for a three-game set Tuesday night two games behind in the wild card and 5½ games back in the division, have nine shots remaining at the Red Sox to gain ground in head-to-head meetings.
The Sox and Rays, meanwhile, play just three more times, next month in the Trop. The Sox also have seven games left against the Yankees and three against the Tigers, who lead the AL Central. The Orioles play the Rays four more times, also in the Trop, while the Yankees have three left against Tampa Bay, in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees and Orioles play seven more times.