Most likely, the Yankees will be eliminated from the AL East either tonight or tomorrow. With the Red Sox magic number at just two, a combination of two Yankees losses or Red Sox wins will seal the deal, meaning that exact scenario tonight ends the discussion. It's still possible, though: the Red Sox have stumbled a bit as of late, and if we were to assume season-to-date projections, the Yankees have about an 8% chance. A team winning four straight, and another losing three or four out of four, isn't something unheard of in baseball.
This is why, at least for one more night, the Yankees will send out their A-grade lineup. This team is fully ready for the postseason, in whatever form or length that is, and their roster is stacked as of now. They'll be facing Jacob Faria, who allowed three runs over four innings last time against the Yankees on July 30th, and he has a 4.78 ERA since then. Considering how much he has struggled, and the Yankees' current urgency, this is a necessary win. Even if the Red Sox win, it should still give them some confidence going into Tuesday's do-or-die. Like I said, this could be the last time we see this kind of lineup in the regular season.
The Yankees will put Sonny Gray on the hill for the last time of the regular season, and what an acquisition that has been so far. He has a 3.12 ERA with the Yankees, which is about 30% better than league average. He's exactly what the Yankees needed down the stretch, so let's hope his next start is game one of the ALDS.
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Mallex Smith - RF||Brett Gardner - LF|
|Corey Dickerson - DH||Aaron Judge - RF|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Gary Sanchez - C|
|Lucas Duda - 1B||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Wilson Ramos - C||Starlin Castro - 2B|
|Adeiny Hechavarria - SS||Greg Bird - 1B|
|Daniel Robertson - 2B||Chase Headley - DH|
|Cesar Puello - LF||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Peter Bourjos - CF||Todd Frazier - 3B|
|Jacob Faria - RHP||Sonny Gray - RHP|