New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox: Preview and Predictions for Upcoming Series

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New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox: Preview and Predictions for Upcoming Series
Jason Szenes/Getty Images

Baseball's most classic rivalry won't possess the drama that typically comes with a New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox September matchup. 

But that doesn't mean the series doesn't hold playoff implications. 

While Boston continues to look towards the future, New York is stuck in the present.

And their three-game set at Fenway Park this week could play a vital role in their postseason push. 

After a four-game series split this weekend in Baltimore, the Yankees enter Tuesday just one game ahead of the Orioles in the division standings. And with the dangerous Rays making their annual late-season push, the AL East figures to be an exciting three-team race to the finish. 

Boston's surprising absence from playoff contention has been one of the many prominent headlines across baseball all year. But with just over three weeks remaining in the regular season, the pending Yankees/Red Sox matchup might not even be the most significant series for those in New York. 

Don't get me wrong, the Yankee faithful won't lack enthusiasm in Bean Town in the coming days. Even with a comfortable 16.5 game cushion over the loathed division rival, there is nothing more satisfying to a Yankees fan than beating the Sox in Boston. 

But fans of the Bronx Bombers might find themselves scoreboard-watching quite often over the next 72 hours. Because a series being played 400 miles south of Boston could help dictate their postseason fate. 

The Tampa Bay Rays will be in Baltimore Tuesday night, starting a three-game set with the Orioles that holds season-changing significance. Just two games separate the division's top three teams, and a strong showing at Camden Yards over the next three days could prove fortuitous for either side. 

But when it is all said and done, the Yankees might be the real winners of the week. 

Because while New York hopes to feast on inferior competition in Boston, each win against the Red Sox means an additional game on one of the two competing teams playing in Baltimore. 

Each night, one team is guaranteed to lose. 

So the Yankees will look to take advantage of the inter-division schedule and sweep the lowly Sox. Such a result could go a long way in cementing their playoff position. 

At the same time, a sweep in either direction at Camden could create an insurmountable deficit for the Rays or the Orioles. 

But either way, the coming series at Fenway is a perfect opportunity for the Bronx Bombers to re-establish themselves as the team to beat in the competitive AL East. It stands as a key to the postseason. 

Because with three weeks left, the Yankees have the luxury of determining their own fate.

And while their focus might be attracted to the scoreboard in left field, it is important they keep their eye on the ball. It won't mean anything if New York can't come up victorious in Boston. 

Here is a preview of this week's mammoth series at Fenway.

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