Last night was the least eventful night remaining on MLB’s regular season schedule. With a week left, 20 teams were off, leaving only five games to be played. Just one, a divisional matchup between the Rays and Red Sox, had any real importance to the Yankees. Even so, let’s take a look at what happened across baseball yesterday.
Rays move into playoff spot with win over Red Sox
The Rays are right on the playoff bubble. Every game could have an enormous impact on their ultimate playoff hopes. Last night, they eked one out against Boston, downing the Red Sox 7-4 to take the four-game set between the two divisional foes.
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, making his second start since coming off the IL, struggled in a short outing. He recorded five outs and yielded three walks and two hits, albeit with just one run. The Rays surely hoped to get their ace back pitching at a high level before October, but Snell will receive at most one more start to regain his form before any potential playoff game.
Despite falling in a 4-0 hole, however, the Rays slugged back with homers from Ji-man Choi, Brandon Lowe, and Willy Adames. They are now 93-64 and in sole position of the second Wild Card spot. Cleveland sits a half-game behind, level in the loss column, at 92-64.
The rest of the American League playoff contenders sat out yesterday. To recap, the Yankees, at 102-55, are still a half-game behind the Astros for home-field advantage. Houston has a much easier schedule over this final week, and remains the favorite to secure the AL’s top seed. The Athletics hold the first Wild Card slot at 94-62, 1.5 games clear of Tampa Bay. The Twins are 96-60 and are on the precipice of clinching the AL Central.
As of now, a Yankees-Twins matchup in the ALDS seems fairly plausible. Still, the Yankees could very well manage to grab the number-one seed, and set themselves up for a series with the winner of a Tampa Bay/Oakland/Cleveland Wild Card Game. We’ll know New York’s opponent soon enough.