The New York Yankees, already clinching the division and home-field advantage in the ALDS, travel to Tampa and Texas for the final six games of the season. This when the team has to bear down and take it one win at a time.
The first order of business, the Tampa Bay Rays. They are going to do everything in their power to win both games of the two-game set. With Glasnow and Snell coming back off injury, expect to see them at a point during this series. The one-hitter Yankees’ pitchers must be careful with is Austin Meadows. He is hitting .289, with 32 home runs, and 88 RBIs (MLB.com). The Rays have a balanced lineup, mixed with some underrated power and line-drive hitters. This could be a trap series for the team from the Bronx.
Next on the list, the Texas Rangers. The weekend series will set the tone for the Yankees heading into the postseason. Hitters will most likely face Lance Lynn and Mike Minor near the end of the series. Lynn had a career-best ERA to start the year but fell off in the second half. Minor helped shutout the Yankees, at home, for the first time in over a year. Beating both of these pitchers should boost the lineup’s confidence heading into the postseason.
Why is this final road trip so important?
The Yankees are currently two games behind the Astros in the loss column, for home-field advantage. They have the tiebreaker which would make it three games. This implies the Yankees must go at least four out of five to stay in the competition for home field. They will have to hope the Mariners and Angels can win at least three of the six games.
As of now, the Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. This series would be a rematch of the epic 2017 AL Wild Card game. The Twins rotation will most likely consist of Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, and Kyle Gibson. All of them have double-digit wins on the year. The Yankees play much better at home in the playoffs but will have to prove themselves at Target Field, to ultimately get a chance to play in the World Series.
The New York Yankees will get a chance to redeem themselves for losing to the Astros in seven games in the 2017 ALCS. As of late, the Yankees have proven they have a good enough rotation and very intimidating lineup to make it there. Let’s see how they do the second time around.