The Crazy Mixed-Up AL East

Things are getting pretty complicated in the American League East.

Thanks to two homers and five RBI by way of Curtis Granderson's bat, the New York Yankees came away with an 8-6 home victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Monday, along with a 1.5-game division lead. Meanwhile, the Rays' season series lead over the Yankees was shaved to 8-7.

Don't look now, here come the Bronx Bombers. Let's break it down.
  • The only possible way for the Yankees to take the season series is to sweep the three remaining games, starting with this evening's game two matchup between James Shields and Phil Hughes.

  • Suppose New York wins two of three. That would end the season series at 9-9, with the tie being broken by the teams' intradivisional records. As of right now, the Rays have the edge at 39-27, but if the Yankees do win at least two of those games, the Rays would still have a 40-29 advantage to the Yankees' 36-26 record.

  • New York will finish their season out within the AL East: six against the Boston Red Sox and three against the Toronto Blue Jays. Tampa Bay has only one series within their division, against the Baltimore Orioles, who are notorious spoilers.
The Minnesota Twins, who are about to clinch the AL Central, lost their season series to both the Rays and Yankees, which is the tiebreaker for playoff seeding. However, the Twins have a pretty decent schedule to end the regular season: two more games at home against the Cleveland Indians before heading to Detroit and Kansas City, then coming back for a four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field, where they own a best-in-baseball mark at 50-25.

Speaking of the Twins, check out the badass Denard Span t-shirt courtesy of Seventh Ink. Yay playoffs!

[Associated Press]


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