With three games remaining in the regular season, the New York Yankees likely need to sweep the Boston Red Sox in order to win the American League East. That’s not officially the case, it just seems like it will be needed.
The Tampa Bay Rays lost their series opener against the Kansas City Royals last night, forcing a tie atop the division with the Yankees. While the Yankees are in Boston for three games to close out the season, the Rays have three more against the Royals.
If the Yankees are to win two of three in Boston, the Rays would have to win just one of their remaining games. Does anyone really think the Rays will loss two of three to the Royals?
To win the division the Yankees must finish a game up on Tampa Bay. The Rays hold the season tiebreaker between the two clubs.
Tampa Bay will face Bruce Chen, Kyle Davies, and Sean O’Sullivan. Not exactly a fearsome trio. Of the three, Chen has the best numbers this season at 11-7 with a 4.45 ERA.
In the three games against Boston, the Yankees will face Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey. New York has not announced it’s series finale pitcher, but Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett are scheduled to pitch the first two games.
As of today, with the division tied up, the Yankees do not control their own destiny. They need the help of the Kansas City Royals. All Yankees fans will become fans of the Royals this weekend.
All the Yankees can do is focus on their own games, focus on beating the Red Sox. Sure the fans and media will be scoreboard watching, but the players should stay focused on the task at hand and worry about the Rays results after.
The best chance at a division title is to sweep the hated division rival Boston Red Sox and let everything else fall into place.