For the second consecutive year, and the third time in the last four seasons, the Yankees will play in the American League Wild Card Game. The Bombers clinched their postseason berth by beating the Orioles in walk-off fashion, and with an assist from the Rays dropping their game to the Blue Jays.
Even after punching their ticket to the playoffs, the Yankees still have work to do. Home-field advantage remains up for grabs, and the team indicated that they will fight to ensure the Wild Card Game gets played in the Bronx. “We want to play here,” Aaron Boone told Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. “We feel like we have the home-field advantage here but I also don’t want to get caught up in driving that home so much that we can feel like we can beat anybody, any place.
It’s a foregone conclusion that the Yankees will meet the Oakland Athletics on October 3rd. The upstart A’s, led by Khris Davis and Matt Chapman, took off in late June and established themselves as a top talent in the American League. They currently sit at 93-61, threatening to host the play-in game.
The Yankees have plenty of experience with Wild Card Game, having appeared in it in 2015 and 2017. Dallas Keuchel and the Astros held the Bombers to just three hits in a deflating 2015 loss, while last year’s rendition proved far more exciting. Luis Severino got hammered for three runs over two outs in the first inning, but Didi Gregorius’ game-tying homer bailed the squad out. The Yankees ultimately dispatched the Twins in convincing fashion.
While many fans, myself included, are disappointed the Yankees didn’t win the division title, the team will just have to live with the Wild Card. Get in and anything can happen. The Bombers sent shockwaves through baseball last year by forcing their way to Game Seven of the ALCS. They will have the chance to do the same this October.
In the meantime, congratulations to the Yankees! Enjoy the celebration; they sure earned it.