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Why winning the East may matter

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 5, 2011 12:15 PM

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Based on the American League standings right now, the Red Sox or Yankees will be the wild-card team.

As the Red Sox proved in 2004, that is not necessarily a big deal.

But it could be this year.

The wild-card team could face Texas and the Sox are 6-16 against the Rangers the last three years, 2-10 in Arlington. Anything can happen in the postseason, but clearly he Rangers are not a good matchup for the Sox.

The Yankees probably feel the same way, having lost to Texas in the ALCS last fall.

That's what makes the final 52 games of the season interesting. Win the division and you get home field against a team from the Central. Lose and you could be en route to Texas and a few days in roasting heat against the defending league champs.

There are times when it's better to rest up and not worry about home field. This may not be one of those years.

"Clubs are built around your ballpark, thatís the bottom line," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday. "If you can have a home series at your ballpark and home field advantage, you want that."

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