Though the Yankees lost on Friday night, the day did not end fruitlessly for them. The Mariners’ late loss to the Angels in Seattle ensured the Yankees (91-69) of getting to play, at worst, a 163rd game on Monday to break a tie for the second American League wild-card spot. Which means that Gerrit Cole surely won’t start Sunday’s game on three days’ rest when their season is guaranteed of not ending that day.
With two games left on the schedule, here’s what the Yankees need to do — or what help they need — to reach the postseason and gain home-field advantage in the Oct. 5 AL wild-card game.
To host the wild-card game:
- Win both of their remaining games over the Rays, or
- Win one game and have the Red Sox (90-70) lose at least once to the Nationals, or
- Lose both games and have the Red Sox lose both games to the Nats and the Blue Jays (89-71) lose at least once to the Orioles.
To reach the postseason as the second wild card:
- Win one game while the Red Sox win two, or
- Lose both games while the Red Sox win one and the Blue Jays and Mariners (89-71) each lose at least one.
To finish in a four-way tie for the two wild-card spots:
- Lose both games and have the Red Sox win one and the Blue Jays and Mariners both win two.
To finish in a three-way tie for the two wild-card spots:
- Lose both games while two of the following occur: a) The Red Sox win one; b) the Blue Jays win two; and c) the Mariners win two.
To finish in a three-way tie for the second wild-card spot:
- Lose both games and have the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Mariners all win two, which would give Boston the top slot and tie the Yankees with Toronto and Seattle.
To finish in a two-way tie for the second wild-card spot.
- Lose both games and have the Red Sox win two and either the Blue Jays or Mariners win two.
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