Yankees Playoff Hopes May Hinge on Upcoming Orioles Series


The New York Yankees weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles may be their last chance to force their way into playoff contention.

Winning five of their last six series and going 13-9 so far in August, the New York Yankees have somehow managed to keep themselves in the race for the postseason, despite selling off two of their three 2016 All-Stars at the trade deadline.

After a much-needed day off Thursday, the Yankees will host the division rival Orioles for a three game weekend series beginning on Friday at 7:05 ET.

The O’s are currently in possession of the coveted second Wild Card spot that New York and the most of the American League are chasing. The Yankees currently trail them by 4.5 games but have a chance to significantly shrink that lead this weekend.

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With nine games against Baltimore remaining in the last month-plus of the season, the Bombers have the opportunity to launch themselves back into serious contention.

As of this writing, FanGraphs has Buck Showalter and Co. as the heavy favorites for the postseason, with a 52.1% chance compared to the Yankees measly 3.6%. A series sweep over the weekend would bring New York within two and maybe begin swaying some hearts and minds in FG’s algorithm.

Unfortunately, the Orioles are not the only club standing in the way of the Yankees ascension. The Mariners, Astros, and Tigers also are ahead of the good guys in the standings, but New York has no control over what those other clubs at this point.

With the majority of their games against their direct competition in the AL East, every series feels like a must-win at this point if the Yankees want to stay in the race.

Gary Sanchez‘s Babe Ruth impression is certainly helping, as is the emergence of Luis Cessa and Chad Green as legitimate MLB starters. If those three can keep up something close to this level of play, there will be no stopping New York.

Is that likely? Not particularly. But it’s fun to see the Yankees betting on their own guys. Nobody expected a playoff run after their August 1st fire-sale, so this is all a bonus as far as I’m concerned.

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There is plenty of talent on the Yankees roster at this point, the only question is whether these guys are ready for the bright-lights of a pennant race. It will be a lot of fun to find out this weekend.