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Amazing numbers to know entering an epic Red Sox-Yankees series

It’s always special when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees meet, but they’ve never squared off when they’ve both been on top of their games quite like they are right now. Here are the most amazing numbers as baseball’s biggest rivals kick off a showdown in the Bronx.
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The Red Sox (55-27) and Yankees (52-26) enter Friday’s series opener with the best records in baseball. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, the last time the Yankees and Red Sox met this late into the season (either by games or calendar Patrick McCaw Jersey date) with the two best records in baseball was the one-game playoff at the end of the 1978 season. (For the uninitiated, google Bucky Dent.)

The Red Sox and Yankees both are on pace to win more than 100 games, which has never happened in the same season. In 1978, the teams finished the regular season tied with 99 wins apiece. (See Bucky Dent reference above.)

Given the teams’ current pace, whoever doesn’t win the division is in line to make history nonetheless. The most regular-season wins by a team to play in a wild-card game (so, since 2012) is 98 by the 2015 Pirates. They faced the 97-win Cubs, who have the second-most wins for any team to play in a wild-card game.

Rafael Devers of the Red Sox and Gleyber Torres of the Yankees, both 21, are regular starters for their teams. According to Elias research, the last time the Red Sox and Yankees faced off with each team having a player 21 or younger in the starting lineup was June 28, 1970, when Ken Brett was the Red Sox starting pitcher and Johnny Ellis played first base for the Yankees. Both were 21.

The Dodgers have been a bit steadier of late, going 17-9 in June to keep pace with the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West. But the end of June was a bit of a struggle as the Dodgers lost four of their last five before the calendar flipped. They opened July with a 6-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Not only did the Dodgers’ offense take off in June, to the tune of 55 home runs to set a franchise record for a month, the pitching staff got healthy again … literally.

Alex Wood (4-5, 4.00 ERA) will take the mound Monday, looking and feeling much better after nagging leg cramps early in the year.

Wood went seven innings against the Chicago Cubs in his last outing Wednesday, his longest start since his season debut on March 30 when he worked eight innings against the San Francisco Giants.

An All-Star for the first time last Authentic P.K Subban Jersey season, Wood is once again starting to look like the pitcher who can rise to the occasion on a nightly basis.

I’m still looking for consistency out of my sinker, but the breaking ball was a lot better, Wood told reporters after his most recent start. Overall, it was pretty good.

The Dodgers also have Clayton Kershaw back recently from a lower back injury and Rich Hill returned from a blister on his left middle finger. Both left-handers will face the Pirates this week.

Pittsburgh announced Sunday that Nick Kingham (2-3, 3.82) will start the series opener at Dodger Stadium. He will take the spot of Chad Kuhl, who is on the DL with a forearm strain.