The New York Yankees are, before Fridayâ€™s games, in sole possession of the second American League Wild Card spot with an 86-67 record. They are one game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and two games behind the Boston Red Sox for the first WC berth.
The Rivalry resumes this weekend with perhaps its most important series since the 2018 ALDS. The Yankees can overtake the Red Sox in the first Wild Card spot with a sweep, and can cut Bostonâ€™s lead to just a single game if they take two of the three.
After dropping two of three at home against Cleveland last weekend, the Yankees rebounded and swept the Texas Rangers.
â€œWeâ€™re all very happy to have done what we needed to do (in the Texas) series,â€ catcher Kyle Higashioka said, per NJ Advance Media. â€œBut we also know that weâ€™ve still got several really important games ahead of us. Weâ€™re ready.â€
The Yankees need to take the series against Boston
Yes, for the Yankees, itâ€™s do-or-die time. Losing the series against Boston would leave the Bombers in really bad shape considering they still have series against the Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays to finish out the season.
â€œAs far as our focus, I feel like weâ€™re where we need to be,â€ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. â€œI felt that way even through some of the struggles weâ€™ve had over the last couple of weeks. I feel like from a mindset, from a focus, from a preparation standpoint, the guys are where they need to be. Itâ€™s about us going out and cashing the checks now.â€
The Yankees are entering The Rivalry weekend with a revamped bullpen that enjoyed the additions of Luis Severino and Domingo German. Jonathan Loaisiga is likely to follow for the Blue Jays series.
From this point on, there are no more excuses. Itâ€™s Showtime.