While the New York Yankees can make the playoffs, they certainly can’t do it alone. Here’s who they need to be cheering for along the way.
There are 30 teams in baseball. But there’s really only one team that’s worth cheering for…at least in the minds of New York Yankees fans.
As they march down the stretch and towards the playoffs, the Yankees need a little bit of help to get there. Sure, they currently lead the American League Wild Card race but who knows what will happen come September.
While playing their own games, the Yankees are still going to be paying attention to the out-of-town scoreboard—with an eye on some specific games.
Sure, they’ll definitely be watching the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox with renewed interest. But there are a few other teams the Yankees should be rooting for as crunch time looms closer.
What teams are we talking about? Let’s take a look.
While the Oakland Athletics are still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot themselves, they are not even close to the Yankees. Currently 10.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, the A’s aren’t real competition.
However, they could do the Yankees a favor and take out some of the other teams in the hunt to make the road that much easier. Especially some of their AL West counterparts.
Take the Los Angeles Angels, for instance, the team sitting a half game out of the second Wild Card. Oakland faces the Mike Trout and the Halos six more times this season.
They also face the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners 16 times before the playoffs begin. Both of those teams are in the thick of the Wild Card race as well.
The A’s have the best chance of any team to knock out four potential Wild Card winners. Why not root for them to help make the Yankees’ path easier?
2. Toronto Blue Jays
Rooting for a team within your own division is pretty much unheard of. But when it comes to the Yankees playoff hopes, it might be time to bite the bullet and cheer for those dreaded Blue Jays.
Toronto is slated to face the division-leading Red Sox nine more times before October hits. If the Yankees have even a remote shot at the AL East title, they need to be rooting on the Blue Jays.
Of course, several things have to happen, like the Yankees winning the majority of their games. However, it would help if the Red Sox could actually lose some of theirs.
Enter the Toronto Blue Jays. They’ve got the opportunity to help out their rivals. Let’s see if they’ll actually do it.
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3. Minnesota Twins
Yes, the Minnesota Twins currently hold the second Wild Card spot. However, the Yankees could certainly benefit from cheering for them for the rest of the season.
If the Yankees keep winning and the Twins continue to do so as well, the one-game playoff for the sole Wild Card spot in the AL would be between the Yankees and Twins.
Looking at the other opponents, the Twins would likely be the best opponent for the Yankees to face. Plus, facing off at Yankee Stadium would be ideal for this year’s squad.
The Yankees can root for the Twins but only if they keep up their game themselves. The Bombers must continue winning one way or another but they’ll want to face Minnesota in a one-game playoff over the Angels, Kansas City or the Mariners.
4. Detroit Tigers
Root for the team that the Yankees just had an afternoon slugfest with? Yeah, absolutely!
The Tigers are in fourth place in the AL Central. They have little to no shot of making the playoffs. Why not play spoiler in favor of the Yankees?
Over the next month, Detroit will face Kansas City six times. With the Royals threatening in the Wild Card standings, the Yankees could use all the help they can get in knocking them out of the race.
Every little bit counts, right? If the Tigers can knock off the Royals in the games they have left, the Yankees will have one less challenger to worry about.
Root for your team all you want. I will be watching the Yankees and rooting for these other teams. You know, sometimes strange things must happen for a team to make the playoffs. That’s what will happen this year.