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The Yankees have almost no shot at winning the division

It’s not impossible, but the Yankees have a very small chance of winning the AL East according to three popular statistics sites

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

Since committing to a younger roster at the trade deadline, the Yankees have had a lot of success in August. Thanks to Gary Sanchez’s breakout, an improved Starlin Castro, and some good starting pitching, the Yankees have gone 15-11 in August, sitting just 3.5 games out of the wildcard spot. Despite this improvement, the wild card spot might be the only realistic shot for the Yankees to make the playoffs this season.

Even though the team is playing well right now at 67-63, the Yankees sit 7.5 games back from first place in the AL East. In order to take first place, they would have to pass the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays, who have all looked impressive this season.

Below, are the odds that three major sites for MLB playoff odds (FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and FiveThirtyEight) give each of the AL East teams for winning the division and their season records. Just a warning, it’s not pretty for the Yankees.

Baseball Prospectus
Toronto Blue Jays 75-56 58.8%
Boston Red Sox 73-58 37.3%
Baltimore Orioles 71-60 3.4%
New York Yankees 67-63 0.5%
Tampa Bay Rays 55-75 0.0%

Toronto Blue Jays 75-56 58.3%
Boston Red Sox 73-58 37.4%
Baltimore Orioles 71-60 4.1%
New York Yankees 67-63 0.2%
Tampa Bay Rays 55-75 0.0%

Toronto Blue Jays 75-56 60%
Boston Red Sox 73-58 33%
Baltimore Orioles 71-60 5%
New York Yankees 67-63 1%
Tampa Bay Rays 55-75 <1%

As you can see, FiveThirtyEight is the most bullish on the Yankees, giving them the highest odds of the three sites. Unfortunately for the Yankees, it’s just a 1% chance. All three sites generally agree that the Blue Jays are in the driver’s seat to win the division, Boston has a realistic chance, and the Yankees and the Orioles have a very slight chance of winning it.

Despite these long odds, never say never in baseball. We’ve seen some memorable collapses down the stretch in recent seasons. The Yankees have a lot of games left against their AL East rivals. If they continue to improve and win games while the rest of the division falters, they could take the division in a stunning turn around.

There is still a lot of baseball left to play this season and a few good series against the rest of the division would increase their odds of winning the division pretty quickly. Let’s hope they can keep the second-half momentum going and overcome the long odds that they have right now.