Talk around baseball is that the New York Yankees have to take two out of three from the Boston Red Sox in this series in the Bronx.
But in order to feel good about their position, in order to really put themselves in a spot to compete for a playoff spot, they need a sweep.
The Yankees are currently five games behind Boston in the American League Wild Card race. Taking two out of three would put them four games back with 29 to play.
And the final three games of the Yankees’ regular season are against the Red Sox in Boston.
Realistically, the Yankees have to be one game back going into that last series to even have a chance. Being one game back, the Yankees would have to take two out of those three to force a tie and a one-game playoff. So to win a playoff spot from a position of one game back, the Yankees would have to win three of four.
But to even get to that point, the Yankees, from four games back, would have to play three games better than Boston in the next 26 games after this series.
That’s going to be very difficult to do.
But if the Yankees sweep the Red Sox this week in the Bronx, they’ll find themselves just two behind. That means that the Yankees would have to play just one game better than the Red Sox in the next 26 games to get to that position of one game back entering the Fenway series. And if the Yankees could play two games better than Boston in those 26 games, they would go into Fenway tied, and then it would be a two-out-of-three winner-take-all series.
And for the record, if the Yankees drop two out of three to Boston this week, they’d end this series six games back in the Wild Card race. And if the Yankees get swept here, they’d be seven back. Either way, their season would effectively be over.
To have any kind of chance at all, the Yankees need two out of three this week. But to really have a legitimate shot to live to see October, the Yankees must sweep the Red Sox this week in Yankee Stadium.