Thank you, Aaron Judge.

Thank you, Chris Sale.

Thank you, most of all, to the shrewd baseball schedule maker in the sky. Things are lining up nicely if you’re a fan of the Red Sox or Yankees. It’s hot and muggy, the Red Sox are in first place in the American League East and the archrival Yankees are just a few steps behind.

If this is some sort of newsflash, it’s time you put down your iPad and tune into baseball once again. The All-Star break ends Friday and baseball has given us a gift to start the second half. The Sox and Yankees will play four games in three days at Fenway Park this weekend, capped by a day-night doubleheader Sunday. Yawkey Way will be buzzing from noon to midnight. Fans will feast on pounds of sausages, drink gallons of beer, and exchange taunts and insults just like the good old days of Fisk, Nettles, Varitek and A-Rod.

There may even be some heat in the ticket scalping game, a rarity at Fenway these days.

It’s all a welcome jolt to a baseball season that’s been a snoozer thus far. The Red Sox sit atop the AL East by 31/2 games over the Yankees and surprising Tampa Bay Rays. They have exciting young players like All-Star Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi, and one of the best pitchers in baseball in Sale.

Even so, the team is somehow more boring and predictable than splashy and exciting. No one exudes half the star power or charisma of the retired David Ortiz. The players don’t date starlets, fight with the manager or utter ignorant responses amid the daily flood of questions from the rabid New England press corps. Where have you gone, Roger Clemens?

The only off-the-field sizzle the team has produced circulates around the puffy waist of infielder Pablo Sandoval. The $17 million man can’t hit to save his life and bounces throws from third base like Butch Hobson. He’s lost his job to a career minor leaguer (Deven Marrero) and a Taiwanese rookie (Tzu-Wei Lin). The Sox owe Sandoval more than $36 million over the next two years, but owner John Henry just may write the portly switch hitter a check to go away.

Boring is working thus far for the Sox, who own the third-best record in the majors (29-18) since mid-May. The Yankees, however, are anything but staid.

After making the playoffs just once in the last four years, the Yankees shot out of the gates this season and were in first place for long stretches of April and May. The spark was the powerful bat of Judge, a 25-year old transcendent rookie outfielder who even baseball commissioner Rob Manfred admits “can become the face of the game.”

A 6-foot-7, broad-shouldered Californian, Judge has captivated the Big Apple with Babe Ruth-like power numbers. It’s only mid-July and he’s swatted 30 home runs, a new record for a Yankees rookie. Who set that mark 81 seasons ago? Someone named Joe DiMaggio.

Judge comes along when baseball needs a boost. Games are too slow, pitchers are too deliberate and managers make pitching changes at a dizzying pace. Sluggers like Judge bring excitement to the table. That was certainly on display in an eye-popping performance Monday at the Home Run Derby in Miami. Judge crushed the competition and whacked four balls farther than 500 feet, a distance steroid-free mortals can only dream of.

The Red Sox and Yankees played only five games against each other in the season’s first half. Now they’ll square off 14 times the rest of the way. That’s a lot of Aaron Judge, Michael Pineda, Mookie Betts and Chris Sale. Baseball at its finest.

Boston released third baseman Jhonny Peralta, who was signed in late June to add a veteran who could potentially help the team solve its problem at third base.

But the platoon of Deven Marrero and Tsu-Wei Lin has been enough for the Red Sox to get by, and Peralta, 35, did not impress in his short stint in the Red Sox system. He hit .237 with a .619 OPS in 61 plate appearances between Class-A Advanced and Triple-A.

With Peralta out of the way, the Pawtucket Red Sox now have a spot open that could be filled by Portland Sea Dogs third baseman Rafael Devers.