This is one of the oddest things. Three teams have a shot at the two remaining American League playoff spots. And ALL THREE hold their own fates in their hands. If the Red Sox win all 3 remaining games....they're in. The same can be said for both the Yankees and Indians.
I will defer to, virtually, every other website and blog out there for a breakdown of the Yanks-Red Sox series. I mean, that's what they've been waiting for.
But it is the Yankees who have an advantage here....just by the fact that they have a one game lead. The Red Sox HAVE to win two games just to force a one-game playoff. One win in this 3-game set guarantees that game for the Yankees. And if that game is played [and why wouldn't it be?]...that game would be in Yankee Stadium on Monday. If New York wins Friday's game...then the pressure would be placed squarely on the Sox.
SPORTZ TAKE: Honestly, I see Boston winning 2 of 3 and forcing the one game playoff in New York. I do see the Yankees ultimately winning that game and the AL East division title.
It would seem that the Indians have the utmost advantage here. Since the Yankees and Red Sox will be beating on each other...if the Indians win their remaining three games...then they are the wildcard, uh, champs.
If the Indians win just two games...they still look to have a good shot. They just need to hope that the Red Sox-Yankees series doesn't end in a tie. If that happens...then Boston plays at New York on Monday. If Boston wins that game....then the Yankees play at Cleveland on Tuesday. If New York wins that game....then the Indians must play at Boston on Tuesday. The winner of that Tuesday game would be named the wildcard team.
If the Indians win just one game...or even zero games...they are in a bit of trouble. They could still see that one-game playoff game if they end up tied with the Red Sox or Yankees...or could still clinch the wildcard if the Yankees sweep the Red Sox [and Cleveland wins once].
Cleveland faces the AL Central champion Chicago White Sox. In theory, the White Sox should be in chill mode...waiting for the playoffs to start. Resting guys that need it...and keeping an eye on pitch counts. Maybe. Remember, Chicago hasn't clinched home field for the first round yet. Their magic number to clinch home field for the ALCS is TWO. So there is something for the Pale Hose to play for.
SPORTZ TAKE: I see the Indians winning 2 of 3 as well...forcing the one game playoff on Tuesday. I said that the Yanks would beat the Sox on Monday....so Cleveland would head to Boston on Tuesday. I see their season ending there.
Let the games begin!