The adage is to take 2 out of 3 from the second tier teams and play .500 against the contenders. If we call contenders any team that finished within 3 of the second Wild Card spot, our 2013 American League contenders are the Orioles, the Rays, the Tigers, the A's and the Rangers.
So the start of June sort of snuck up on me. Last time I checked in, I was rooting for the Yankees to go 19-11 from April 30 to May 31.
It was a lofty goal, but the Yankees were playing a lot of second tier teams: the Royals, the Blue Jays, the Mets (more on that in a minute).
And you know what? On May 26th a loss to the Rays dropped the Yankees to 15-9 before a 4 game set against the Mets and a game against the Red Sox. I would have put money on at least 18-11. Instead the Yanks got swept before picking up the one game against Boston. They finished May 16-13, and then dropped the first two games of May against the Sox.
Counting today's game, the Yankees have 13 games against contenders, and 10 against non-contenders. The end of June is a particularly brutal stretch against teams with very good to great pitching (Rays, Rangers, Orioles). All the same, if the Yankees are a playoff bound team, they'll need to go 7-6 against the contenders and 7-4 against the rest.
14-10. A few games over .500 in June would be great, because the first two weeks of July bring a chance to win a lot of games. Just keep the head above water until then.