By Max Fernandez
The New York Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, call them anything you’d like, have had a pretty impressive season, even with the injuries of some of their stars like Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. But they’re not going to win their division. The reason? The Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and have over 100 wins, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll stop any time soon. The Yankees are getting close to 100 wins themselves, yet they could still be 10 games back. That being said, the Yankees are preparing to play the Wild Card. Their most likely opponent: the Oakland A’s.
Will the Yankees be able to win a one-game playoff against Oakland? It might be hard. We have to consider that the A’s themselves already have won 90 games. We also have to consider that the Yanks recently lost a series to Oakland and had an overall losing record on their nine-game road trip. Now, the Yankees even hosting the Wild Card game could be jeopardized.
But, let’s not forget how good a team the Yankees are. Despite having a young roster, they were still only a game away from the World Series. And now, they not only have all of their best players from last year, but they boast new additions like Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, who are both Rookie of the Year candidates.
The Yankees’ pitching is not too bad either. They have Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia, as well as newcomers like Lance Lynn and J.A. Happ. The Yankees, in short, have a high-quality team. They play to a high standard, and their fans are demanding of that standard. They have 27 World Series titles and they’re looking for 28. And even with the quality baseball they’ve played, it doesn’t seem to be enough.
The Yankees comfortably rest in second place in the AL East. And I say “comfortably” because that’s where they’ve been for most of the year, though it’s not entirely the team’s fault. Few people were expecting the year Boston has had. Boston has been lucky with two AL MVP candidates, and the Yankees are unlucky to be in the same division as the Red Sox. The AL East has the two best teams in baseball, but there can only be one first-place team.
The Oakland Athletics are a very potent team from a hitting and pitching perspective. They are a team that may also be in first if it weren’t for another team in their division being otherworldly: the Houston Astros. And, most importantly, the A’s are a tough matchup for the Yankees.
However, I am confident that the Yankees will be able to pull it off. There is no reason they shouldn’t. We have all seen the potential of the so-called “Baby Bombers.” They are a winning team with a winning spirit that goes back over a century.