The Yankees won their 10,000 game as a franchise in the regular season and they will be in the AL Wild Card game with the Houston Astros, Angels or Minnesota Twins as potential opponents.
The Astros control their destiny at this point – if they win out, they’re in, but there are a handful of ways in which the Astros can miss the playoffs if they don’t sweep. “We’ve had a few streaks that have been less than our best and we’ve come out of it very well each time”.
The big question is whether “meaningful” translates into home-field advantage.
Rejoice! The Astros are playing meaningful games in October! And once there, Houston will throw ace Dallas Keuchel, while the Diamondbacks have the inconsistent Rubby De La Rosa and Jeremy Hellickson scheduled to pitch the first two games, though Hellickson has a 2.49 ERA in his last five starts.
Eventually, Camden Yards got pounded by a steady downpour and umpires – after pleadings from Blue Jays manager John Gibbons – called a rain delay after one inning and the Orioles leading 3-0.
That game is notable as the last one Mark Teixeira started. The Royals are in Minneapolis to play the Twins, where inclement weather is always possible, although the weekend forecast does not call for rain.
In that scenario, the Rangers would then have to face Houston in a one-game playoff for the division title, with the loser then heading to the Bronx to face the Yankees with no day off in a one-game playoff in the Wild Card round.
The battle of Texas had a buzz round it this weekend that hadn’t been there since interleague play began.
Yet, there are repercussions.
No matter whom the Yankees play, it’ll be a nerve-wracking night.
Should the Astros lose, the Rangers will still win the AL West.
While the National League picture is far clearer, weather has already impacted the New York Mets. (Yes, I’m old enough to remember 1994 was the Strike Year, so the Major League Baseball wild card wasn’t officially used until 1995). The Astros haven’t made the playoffs since they lost the 2005 World Series to the Chicago White Sox. The team had lost three against the Red Sox and had still not yet clinched a spot in the postseason. If they have any rainouts, they also would be relegated to a doubleheader, or even be forced to play on Monday. That’s good enough for the top wild card spot in the AL at the moment.
Keuchel (19-8, 2.47 ERA) also has bounced back from a rough 4 2-3-inning outing September 16 at Texas in which he surrendered season highs of nine runs, 11 hits and three homers. The Astros have three-game series against Seattle and Arizona and the Angels have Oakland for three games and the Rangers for four.
The loss not only keeps the Houston Astros alive in the division for at least a bit longer, but it means the Angels are within a half game of Houston for the final wildcard spot, and can move into a tie if the Astros slip up Saturday night. Thus, we now need to examine scenarios where the Rangers are done after two games to see if that hurts the Twins.
The Astros could still pass the Rangers in the West, as they’re two games out with two games remaining.