Yankees Vie for AL Wild Card after Difficult Weekend against Red Sox

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017
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Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are all that matters in sports? Both teams have a tendency to make history. It helps that they have a ceaseless rivalry. Their meeting on the weekend left many New York fans scratching their heads, though one wonders if the result affected MLB Playoff betting odds that drastically.

All eyes are on the American League East Crown. The Yankees and the Red Sox will try to stake their claim, though one can already see who is the likeliest to come out on top. Boston has been winning a lot as of late, and they took two out of three victories on the weekend.

Fans of both teams got to see just how the rivalry between the two teams would continue to shape up for the next couple of years. New York fans are not in the best place right now. The weekend was difficult for them.

And wasn’t just because the Yankees lost to Boston. That obviously matters. But the weekend stood out because of what it means for the future. By losing at Fenway Park, the Yankees fell five games behind the Red Sox.

As a Red Sox fans, you would be forgiven for thinking the Red Sox rule the world. At the very least, they are ruling the division. And the Yankees couldn’t have chosen a worse time to drop the ball.

The race for the AL East crown is heating up, and if the Yankees are not careful, all chances of victory could be snatched from their fingers. New York only has four head-to-head games left. That is four games that New York must use to gain ground.

The final stretch of the season will be the most difficult. But some analysts do not think it’s all doom and gloom. They actually believe that the Yankees can gain enough ground to make a difference once it is all said and done.

That might sound like desperate optimism, but it actually isn’t because such pundits have numbers to back them up; though, as a follower of baseball, these numbers will only matter to you if you trust FiveThirtyEight, which a lot of people do.

When the Yankees finally enter play on the 21st of August, FiveThirtytEight believes that they will have a 15 percent chance of coming out with a Division Win. That isn’t the most optimistic of figures but it’s better than nothing.

Everyone thought the Yankees would win two of three against Boston. They looked like they were that good. So clearly a 15 percent chance of victory is a little embarrassing.

But then again, the chances of the Yankees getting one of the two AL wild card spots available are actually pretty good. In fact, FiveThirtyEight puts the team’s chance at 78 percent. That is amazing. If FiveThirtyEight is right and New York achieves a final 87-75 record, Yankees fans will have plenty to celebrate.

Those numbers look even better when they are pitted against the figures of teams like the Twins (83-79), the Angels (83-79) and the Mariners (80-82) who are chasing them. The Yankees will make effective use of their 4-game cushion over other wild card contenders and give fans something to smile about.

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

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