When the Sox and Yanks meet to start the season

Five years ago, the last time the Yankees and Red Sox opened the season against one another, I wrote this post. So here is the updated list, with that 2005 season reflected (the starred years of 1917 and 1919 featured Babe Ruth on the Red Sox):

Season Winner NY record BOS record
2005 Yankees, 9-2 95-67 (1) 95-67 (2)
1992 Yankees, 4-3 76-86 (5) 73-89 (7)
1985 Red Sox, 9-2 97-64 (2) 81-81 (5)
1973 Red Sox, 15-5 79-76 (4) 85-70 (2)
1971 Red Sox, 3-1 82-80 (4) 85-77 (3)
1970 Red Sox, 4-3 93-69 (2) 87-75 (3)
1964 Red Sox, 4-3 99-63 (1) 72-90 (8)
1960 Yankees, 8-4 97-57 (1) 65-89 (7)
1959 Yankees, 3-2 79-75 (1) 75-79 (5)
1958 Yankees, 3-0 92-62 (1) 79-75 (3)
1951 Yankees, 5-0 98-56 (1) 87-67 (3)
1950 Yankees, 15-10 98-56 (1) 94-60 (3)
1945 Yankees, 8-4 81-71 (4) 71-83 (7)
1944 Yankees, 3-0 83-71 (3) 77-77 (4)
1939 Yankees, 2-0 106-45 (1) 89-62 (2)
1938 Red Sox, 8-4 99-53 (1) 88-61 (2)
1935 Red Sox, 1-0 89-60 (2) 78-75 (4)
1933 Yankees, 4-3 91-59 (2) 63-86 (7)
1931 Yankees, 6-3 94-59 (2) 62-90 (6)
1929 Yankees, 7-3 88-66 (2) 58-96 (8)
1926 Yankees, 12-11 91-63 (1) 46-107 (8)
1924 Yankees, 2-1 89-63 (2) 67-87 (7)
1923 Yankees, 4-1 98-54 (1) 61-91 (8)
1919 Red Sox, 10-1* 80-59 (3) 66-71 (6)
1917 Red Sox, 10-3* 71-82 (6) 90-62 (2)
1912 Red Sox, 5-3 50-102 (8) 105-47 (1)
1910 Tie, 4-4 88-63 (2) 81-72 (4)
1906 Yankees, 2-1 90-61 (2) 49-105 (8)
1904 Yankees, 8-2 92-59 (2) 95-59 (1)

 

These two storied franchises have now played 30 times to start the season, the Yankees now winning 18 of the 30, with one tie one hundred years ago, in 1910. (New York won the following day.)

So in the 29 years leading up to this one in which these two teams have started it all against one another, the Yankees have finished higher in the standings than the Red Sox 23 times — counting 2005, when they tied with the same record but New York won the division and Boston got the Wild Card, though they both lost in the ALDS — while also winning 10 pennants. Boston’s won two pennants while finishing higher six times. Yet only one of the six meetings in the expansion era (since 1961) has led to a pennant-winning Yankee club, and that was in ’64.

In all years, the Yankees’ average record is 88-66 (.571) and their average place in the standings is 2.34. For Boston, it’s 77-78 (.497) and 4.69.

New York has 26 winning seasons on the list to Boston’s 14 (plus two at .500). The Yankees have 16 90-win seasons (one of which was a 100-win campaign) along with one 90-loss season, which was also a 100-loss season. The Sox won 90 or more five times (topping 100 once) and lost 90 six times (twice surpassing a hundred).

Now, in years when the Yankees win, they’ve gone on to have a 91-63 (.591) average record with an average standing of 1.83. When the Sox have lost the opener to the Yanks, they’ve gone 71-82 (.464), on average, to finish 5.33. But when Boston takes the first game, both teams finish with an average record of 84-71 (.542); however, Boston’s standing is 3.60 while New York’s is an ever-so-slightly better 3.30.

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