With only 22 games left to play in the 2013 season, the Yankees sit just 2.5 games back of the Rays. If not for the team's deflating loss to the Red Sox last night they'd be 1.5 back because the Rays lost to the Angels. Yay for simple arithmetic! Boo for losing. Even with last night's loss, the team is still in a good position to take over the final Wild Card spot in the American League but only if they play well over their next 22 remaining games.
I'd thought it would be beneficial to go ahead and take a look at these two team's schedule and dissect their upcoming opponents remaining on the schedule. Okay, maybe not as beneficial as helping me keep my sanity, and put it onto digital paper.
Let's take a look at our Bronx Bombers first, shall we?
New York Yankees: 22 remaining
4 game series vs. Boston (3 left)
4 game series @ Baltimore
3 game series @ Boston
3 game series @ Toronto
3 game series vs. San Francisco
3 game series vs. Tampa Bay
3 game series @ Houston
So the Yankees have six games left against Boston. I believe they'll need to go 4-2 over that period to have a shot at the playoffs. The Baltimore series is going to be interesting. If the Yankees go 3-1 in that series they'll have almost knocked Baltimore from playoff contention. A split wouldn't be the end of the world, but when you're chasing a team, you want series wins. Especially with so few games left.
Then you have three games in Toronto. The Yankees have owned the Blue Jays all year long aside from their most recent series. I'm going to call that a hiccup and assume we sweep them. The team's desperate! The Yankees should probably sweep the Giants too, but they won't. They'll win two of three.
The Rays series is the biggest of the year. If the Yankees make the playoffs it's because they swept Tampa or gained ground by winning the series. Not impossible.
Then Houston, oh boy. If the Yanks are still in contention by this point they might just make it. I'm going to say sweep. That's 17-5 altogether.
Final Record: 92-70
Tampa Bay Rays: 23 remaining
3 game series @ Seattle
3 game series vs. Boston
3 game series @ Minnesota
4 game series vs. Texas
4 game series vs. Baltimore
3 game series @ New York
3 game series @ Toronto
The Rays have some easy and tough series. They face Iwakuma in Seattle, so we can only hope that he pitches extremely well to get his Mariners a win. To me that'll be their only win of the series as the Rays will go 2-1. Then vs. Boston they should go 1-2. Hopefully they get swept, but 1-2 makes more sense at home.
They'll sweep Minnesota I believe, and then comes two difficult series vs. Texas and Baltimore. I'll predict a split in both so the Rays go 4-4. Then Tampa plays the Yankees, and I already had the Yankees winning 2-1. So that's 1-2 for Tampa Bay. Then to be courteous I'll say the Rays sweep the Blue Jays.
So that's 14-9 over their next 23.
Final Record: 91-71
Wow. I didn't even do that on purpose, but according to my predictions the Yankees would lead the Rays by a game. That should be good enough for a playoff spot, but going 17-5 is incredibly difficult. They'll really need to play well in order to make the playoffs. Also remember that Cleveland, Baltimore and even Kansas City are within range of making the post-season.
The fun thing about this is, this meant nothing at all. Baseball is unpredictable and I'll probably be wrong. But why not, right?