The American League's hottest team, the New York Yankees, are a bittersweet opponent for National League teams hosting Interleague play. Though they draw more fans than any other visiting AL team, they also win more Interleague games than any other team in Major League Baseball.
The Yankees have the fourth best road attendance in MLB, but are first in the AL with a crowd of 33,343 per game in road games. This is great news for NL teams that host the Yankees during Interleague play, such as the Atlanta Braves who started a three game series with New York on Monday night.
Atlanta had a crowd of 42,669 at Turner Field on Monday night, while their average home crowd is 29,852. However, with the increase in ticket sales, comes the challenge of facing the Yankees, who have a 162-109 Interleague record, which is the best in MLB history.
After sweeping the New York Mets in a three game subway series and now shutting out the Braves in Monday's win, the Yankees are 5-2 this season against NL teams. In 2011, the Bronx Bombers went 13-5 against NL teams.
Though their road record is just 16-13 this season, the Yankees have a combined 35-25 record playing in the three NL stadiums they will play in this year when facing the Braves, Mets, and Washington Nationals.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who was drafted by the Yankees in 1982, has experienced being a part of the Yankees organization and also facing them. When asked about hosting the Yankees for a home series, he showed a lot of respect to the franchise.
"They're not wearing the pinstripes right now, but they carry a lot of history and those 27 World Championships, and they bring a lot of fans with them," Gonzalez told Mike Bauman of MLB.com. "Not that I was born then, but it's probably like traveling with the Beatles. Absolutely, it's different playing against the New York Yankees."
Gonzalez and the Braves welcome the extra fans while the Yankees are in town, but from a competition standpoint, don't like to see them on the schedule for six games (five remaining).
"Six games? Better than 18, if we were in the same division, right?" said Gonzalez. "But they're playing good baseball, we're playing good baseball. The bottom line is who's going to pitch. It always comes down to who's going to pitch. It's going to be fun."
The Yankees and Braves will face off on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM ET. CC Sabathia will start for New York while Mike Minor will start for Atlanta.
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