The A.L. East standings this morning:
And, the A.L. Wildcard standings after last night’s games:
As you can see, the Yankees, Orioles and Rays are fighting it out in the A.L. East. And, the two teams who do not finish first in the A.L. East will need better records than the Angels and the teams who finish second in the A.L. Central and West in order to ensure they don’t get that last wildcard spot or are forced out of the playoffs at the end of the season.
For Yankees fans, this suggests that you have to worry about the O’s, Rays, Angels, A’s and Tigers – and maybe the Rangers and White Sox too.
Personally, I think the Yankees would really have to tank their last 21 games to fall behind the second place A.L. Central team in the wildcard standings. So, while you have to worry about everyone, the Yankees main concern should be O’s, Rays, Angels and A’s.
And, if I had to make a call today, I would say that Oakland is going to take a wildcard spot. Therefore, the Yankees’ only way into the post-season in 2012 would be to win the A.L. East or finish second in the A.L. East and then have a better record than the Angels.
At this time, the Yankees have a three game lead on the Angels. And, that’s some breathing room. Further, the Angels have some tough games remaining on their schedule.
This all brings it back down to the Yankees, Orioles and Rays in the A.L. East.
And, each of these teams play the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, a lot, from here to the end of the season. The Yankees have 12 games versus the Jays and Sox, the Orioles have 10 games against them, and the Rays have 9 games left to play with them.
If the Yankees, Orioles or Rays can clean-up in their games against Toronto and Boston, they will help themselves out. And, if they cannot, then it may be “Wait ‘Till Next Year!” for them.