In what seemed like a foregone conclusion that the New York Yankees would make the playoffs in 2018 may now be in jeopardy. The standing (as of 8/14) have the Yankees just 3.5 games up on the Oakland Athletics for the top AL Wildcard. We explain why is it so crucial that the Yankees playoff spot is no worse than the top Wildcard spot.
The New York Yankees are a much better team at home than on the road. With a home record of 41-18 (winning percentage of .694) and a road record of 33-26 (.559.) The Yankees are thirty games over the .500 mark so by no means a bad team. They are “on pace” for approximately 110 wins, which is an incredible season. It is just being overshadowed by the legendary season that the Boston Red Sox are having. If this were any other season the Yankees and first-time manager Aaron Boone would be praised for how he has been able to get the team playing at a “110 Win Pace.” Instead of Yankee fans calling for Boone and GM Brian Cashman to be fired.
As a Yankee fan, we have become accustomed to a certain level of play. We have become prideful of a particular level of skill and grit from our teams. And throughout several moments this season, we have had that. But as every season is different we have had moments of struggle, a seeming lack of focus, and just some wayward decision making by a rookie manager. This level of play we have documented quite often on this site. With the lifeless nature, that team has played with. Along with breaking down keys to regaining the form from earlier in the season.
AL East Still Possible
While many Yankee fans have conceded the AL East Division to the Red Sox, the Yankees can not. The lead currently stands at ten games, the Yankees still have six contest against Boston remaining. And yes the Yanks need Boston to regress and play below .500 but the Bombers remain in the hunt. The reason fighting for the division remains so important is because the two teams directly chasing the Yanks in the Wildcard race are west coast teams. The Yankees have not fared well in their west coast trips in recent memory. And to fly 3000 miles out west to either Oakland or Seattle Mariners for one-game wildcard would be detrimental for the Bronx Bombers. As (hypothetically) assuming a win in the Wildcard game would have to fly 3000 miles back east to take on a rested juggernaut in the Boston Red Sox.
Yet the reverse could work out well for the Bombers. If Boston has to make those same trips it favors New York. Again, to make the division a possibility the Yankees must start playing more consistent baseball. They can not continue dropping games like the did Monday night against the New York Mets. It becomes extremely important that the Yankees keep winning ballgames to shorten the stranglehold the Red Sox have on the AL East Division. Because if the Yanks can cut the division lead to six games the Yankees mathematically still have a shot at the division. As we said earlier the Yankees are a much better team at home. And playing against the Red Sox in the ALDS at Yankee Stadium (as opposed to Fenway Park) gives the Yanks an advantage.