Elsewhere in the YESNetwork.com blogosphere, Jon Lane has a graphical breakdown of the Yankees’ postseason scenarios.
No matter what the Yankees do, the results of today’s Texas-Oakland and Baltimore-Tampa Bay games could (and will) heavily influence what the team does when they wake up Thursday morning. The winner of the former game will be the AL West Champion with the loser taking one of two wild card spots, and as that game begins at 3:35 ET, the Bombers could know part of their potential fate by the time they take the field tonight.
Record-wise, the Yankees currently stand at 94-67 with Oakland, Texas, and Baltimore all at 93-68, and in terms of inter-division tiebreakers, Oakland has it on both NYY/BAL, Texas has it on Baltimore, and the Yankees have it on Texas. So, to piggyback on that graphic, here is how the postseason will shake out under all five possible scenarios for the Yankees:
IF THE YANKEES WIN:
-They win the AL East, clinch the No. 1 seed in the AL, and will play the winner of the Wild Card Playoff between the Orioles and the TEX/OAK loser. That ALDS would begin on Sunday, and would begin on the road in Baltimore, Arlington, or Oakland.
IF THE YANKEES LOSE:
-IF BAL/OAK WIN: Oakland is the AL West Champion and the Yankees and Orioles tie for the AL East, so the Yankees would go to Baltimore for a one-game playoff on Thursday for the AL East title. If they win, they are the No. 2 seed and would start the ALDS on Saturday in Detroit; if they lose, they are the No. 4 seed and host Texas in the Wild Card Playoff on Friday, with the winner of that game beginning the ALDS at home against Oakland on Sunday.
-IF BAL/TEX WIN: Texas is the AL West Champion and the one-game AL East playoff happens in Baltimore on Thursday. A win in that game would then mean the Yankees are the No. 1 seed and would play the winner of the Oakland/Baltimore Wild Card Playoff in the ALDS; a loss means they would host Oakland for the Wild Card Playoff, then would start the ALDS at Texas on Sunday if they win.
-IF TB/OAK WIN: Yankees win the AL East and finish as the No. 2 seed, and will begin the ALDS at Detroit Saturday. Texas would host Baltimore in the Wild Card Playoff, and that winner plays No. 1 seed Oakland in the ALDS.
-IF TB/TEX WIN: Yankees win the AL East and finish as the No. 1 seed, and will begin the ALDS on the road on Sunday. Oakland would host Baltimore in Friday’s Wild Card Playoff, and the ALDS matchups are Yankees vs. BAL/OAK winner and Texas vs. Detroit.