American League: The Race is ON!
The most exciting division in baseball will once again prove why it’s the most exciting division in baseball. The Yanks, the Sox, and the Rays, 3 teams playing musical chairs for 2 spots. Who will have a spot when the music stops?
The Yankees seem to be in control of the division right now, and you might be asking yourself why I’m including them instead of just writing about the two horse race that is the wild card spot. While the Yankees do have a 5 game lead over Boston, and a 7 game lead over Tampa, their last 10 games are no walk in the park. And by the end of it, they might just find themselves in the fight of their lives.
Here’s how the Yankees schedule breaks down:
4- Home games in 3 days against the Rays (including a double header)
3- Home games against the Red Sox
3- Away games against the Rays
The Rays are red-hot right now and hungry for a playoff spot. That 4 game series is not gonna be easy. Then the Bo Sox come to town. Based on the way their playing right now (streaky run production, bad defense) that wouldn’t be a bad thing. But lets not forget the Red Sox have owned the season series this year 11-4. And if those games go badly for the Bronx Bombers, a three game series in Tampa to end the season could be disastrous.
Boston’s schedule should prove a little easier:
2- Home games against the Orioles (last 2 of a 4 game series)
3- Away games against the Yankees
3- Away games against the Orioles
Boston lost the first game of the 4 game series against the Orioles by 1 run, then exploded for 18 runs winning the second game. They should be able to carry that momentum into the final two. The real test will be that 3 game series against the Yanks in Yankee Stadium. If they can get through that series, they should have a relatively easy last three against Baltimore.
Tampa Bay’s schedule:
4- Away games against the Yankees
3- Home games against the Jays
3- Home games against the Yankees
Tampa Bay is the wild card here (n.p.i). They are playing great baseball, and have their fate in their hands. If they can win that 4 game series in New York things get really interesting. They then have 3 against the Jays who they’ve owned this season 10-5 (although the Jays are playing good ball right now). And then they could have a 3 game home stand against the Yankees that could possibly be for a playoff spot.
If you are a New York or Boston fan, you’re hoping the Yankees go out and sweep the Rays, crushing their postseason dreams, and solidifying the two playoff spots. If you’re a Jays fan, you don’t want to give the games to Tampa, but at the same time it would be nice to watch the Yankees and Red Sox sweat. If you’re a Rays fan, or just a fan of baseball in general, you want the Rays to sweep that first series against the Yankees. And watch 3 of the best teams in baseball, fight for their lives down to the last game of the season…