The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry will once again be the best in the MLB

BOSTON, MA - JULY 15: Aaron Judge
BOSTON, MA - JULY 15: Aaron Judge /

The Yankees and Red Sox fans will remember the overlying tension and hatred between the two clubs. While the rivalry’s excitement diminished throughout the past few seasons, expect it to become prominent once again.

Moments define a rivalry. New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox is a prime example. 

Boston’s furious comeback in the 2004 playoffs. Aaron Boone’s walk-off in the ALCS a year before that. The brawls – Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez – also bring back fond memories.

Acrimonious yelling matches in the bleachers and fanatics’ incredulous attitudes always get attention. But what happens on the field is what ultimately makes certain rivalries better than others.

Heading into next season, fans should deem the Yankees and Red Sox as once again the best matchup in the game.

What was seemingly the most intense rivalry since the turn of the century diminished in promise for most people. With other contenders and impactful shake-ups, teams in the National League – Giants/Dodgers and Cubs/Cardinals – garnered more attention.

That’s not to say that the East Coast rivalry ever faded throughout these past few seasons. Every game between the two squads is heated and filled with an acute passion for their cities – and baseball itself.

But with the Yankees back as the “Evil Empire” and the Red Sox with a new manager, matchups will be even more fierce.

New York unexpectedly made a push into the playoff scene this past season. Fans expected Boston to cruise through the American League East after acquiring Chris Sale. Neither team went to the Fall Classic, but both are still major contenders moving forward.

When there is more at stake, the games are much more entertaining. Before last season, the most recent year that had both teams as contenders for the AL East title was arguably 2009. But even that wasn’t like 2007, 2005 and 2004 when just a handful of games separated the two.

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Numerous matchups will be must-watch entertainment for any baseball fan.

Sale flummoxed the “Baby Bombers” in each of his first three starts against them. He stumbled in his final bout with them, but still allowed just three runs in 4 1/3.

Now, he and the rest of the rotation will battle Giancarlo Stanton and a young, talented and potent Yankees lineup.

The development of the “Killer Bs” is also a noteworthy facet to keep in mind.

Both teams also present some of the best late-inning hurlers in the game.

Craig Kimbrel is the best closer in the American League, finishing sixth in Cy Young voting. Aroldis Chapman still throws his famed 100-mph heater but was exposed somewhat last year.

Games will pit first-year managers Alex Cora and Aaron Boone against one another again. Both of their inexperience could be one team’s demise, while other decisions could propel one team ahead of the other.

More moves in the coming weeks could escalate fans’ anticipation even further. Boston has J.D. Martinez on its wish list for the holidays, while New York notified Pittsburgh it is interested in Gerrit Cole

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Los Angeles and Houston may receive attention as an upcoming rivalry due to the Angels’ flurry of moves. Chicago and St. Louis will still be the leading players in the NL Central. Heck, maybe even Philadelphia and Washington will become rivals by the end of the season.

But even with such exciting storylines across the league, all pale in comparison to the reemergence of the upcoming Yankees-Red Sox showdowns.