AL first wild card spot
New York Yankees
Overall record (through Sunday): 70-59
Last week: 4-2
This week: Vs. Cleveland (Mon.-Wed.); vs. Boston Red Sox (Thu.-Sun.)
The Yankees started and ended the week with two straight wins. New York, though, lost the middle two contests of their six-game week, but it was still good enough to earn a pair of series wins.
Those victories—combined with a sudden slump by the Red Sox—has the Yankees just 2.5 games back in the East Division standings. Not only have the Bronx Bombers closed the gap on their chief adversary, but they have also added a little breathing room in the Wild Card chase.
New York’s edge over Minnesota for home-field advantage in the Wild Card game is up to 3.5 games. Even more importantly, the Yankees are five games clear of the Angels and Mariners, who sit just outside the playoff field. All told, New York would have to fall into quite the September swoon to miss out on the postseason.
That being said, the schedule is not kind to the Yankees this week. They play seven games this week—all against division leaders. New York plays Cleveland for three games beginning Monday and four games with Boston. Although, the Yankees do have the benefit of playing all of those games at home.
If the young team—with a suddenly shaky bullpen—wants to prove it can be a force in October, then winning both of its series this week will go a long way towards achieving that.