Yankees: A fourth team is now firmly in the AL Wild Card race

May 8, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (18) pitches against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild Card spots in the National League are virtually decided already, with the Los Angeles Dodgers comfortably taking the first one a while ago, and the St. Louis Cardinals set to take the second one. However, the picture in the American League is much murkier, and the New York Yankees have a lot of work to do if they want to secure their ticket to the postseason.

The AL East is looking to sweep the Wild Card: the Tampa Bay Rays already took the division, but the Yankees (89-67) have the first berth as of right now, with the Boston Red Sox (88-68) holding the second one. The Toronto Blue Jays (87-69) are just a game behind the Red Sox, but there is a fourth team with very good chances.

The Seattle Mariners (87-70), to the surprise of virtually everyone, is right in the thick of things. They are just 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, held by the Red Sox, and already started their crucial matchup against the Oakland Athletics with the right foot, defeating them on Monday night.

The Mariners will have an eye in the Yankees-Blue Jays series

The Mariners could take advantage of the matchup between the Yankees and the Blue Jays, because one of them will lose in the next few days. The key for Seattle is to keep winning and complete the sweep of the A’s.

The Mariners have won two games in a row and have played excellent baseball recently, taking eight games of their last 10. Mitch Haniger is carrying the offense, but this time, he has gotten help from struggling outfielder and uber-prospect Jarred Kelenic, who seems to have figured things out (.250/.350/.615 with five home runs in his last 15 contests).

Daniel Kramer, the Mariners’ beat reporter for MLB.com, had this to say about Seattle’s chances: “Every time anyone counts the Mariners out, they take a proverbial shove and go out and keep winning. The math might not be on their side, but at this point, it’s very clear that they are going to take this thing down to the very last day of the season.”

The Yankees will certainly need to be careful and win at least four or five of their remaining six games, three against the Blue Jays, and three against the Rays. If they start losing, Toronto, Boston, and even Seattle could overtake them in the Wild Card standings.