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What did we learn from evenly-matched Yankees-Red Sox series?

Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, top, tags New York Yankees' Aaron Judge trying to steal second base during the 13th inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, July 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The second half of the MLB season is well on its way.

Front and center at the continuation of the 2017 campaign were the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The two rivals went head-to-head in Boston this past weekend for a four-game series which they split.

With the series wrapped up, third-place New York trails Boston by 3.5 games in the American League East (and the second-place Tampa Bay Rays by half a game). There’s plenty of time for that to change, though.

With these teams not scheduled to meet again until Aug. 11, let’s take a look at a few observations from this weekend and what could change by the time these foes face off again.

  • Squared up

One clear takeaway after this series is that Boston and New York are evenly matched. None of the four games this weekend got out of hand. In similar fashion, neither team has run away with the division lead this season.

The Yankees have a better offense and the Red Sox have a better rotation, though both teams are getting serviceable contributions in both departments. The two have similar bullpens now that the Yankees’ relievers seem to be coming around after a solid weekend in Fenway — Friday night’s problems aside.

With New York and Boston matching up so well, it should be a fun stretch run. It also likely means at least one of these front offices will be up to something this month.

New York Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka pitches during the first inning of the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Sunday, July 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

  • Help wanted

July is more than halfway over; the trade market is about to heat up.

As this weekend demonstrated, neither the Yankees nor Red Sox are a clear favorite over the other in the American League East, so it would not be surprising if either tried to make a few upgrades in the next couple of weeks. The Yankees could certainly use some assistance in the rotation and the bullpen, as well as at first base and the hot corner. The Red Sox are also looking to improve at third as well as in relief.

The Yankees and Red Sox are both looking to Chicago as a potential solution, as FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported both had scouts surveying White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier and closer David Robertson. Heyman said Boston is more focused on Frazier, while the Yankees have more interest in putting together a reunion with Roberston.

Whether it be those two Windy City trade chips or not, expect some sort of moves from the Red Sox and Yankees. The latter is more likely to operate on the conservative side when it comes to parting with prospects.

  • Pitching potential 

As previously mentioned, the Red Sox have a much better pitching staff than the Yankees, but both teams have dealt with varying degrees of inconsistency this year. However, New York and Boston both saw valiant efforts from their rotations this past weekend.

Friday night’s game saw Jordan Montgomery and Drew Pomeranz give up a combined seven earned runs, but after that both teams received strong outings from their starters across the board. Clearly, the potential is there for both staffs, but finding consistency is easier said than done.

Finding it might require searching on another roster.

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