To be the best, you have to beat the best. And up until this point, the Yankees haven’t been able to do this.
New York has gone 6-10 against the Boston Red Sox, 6-10 against the Toronto Blue Jays and 7-9 against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021. Ironically, they will have to go through their division rivals in the last three series of the season.
The Yankees currently find themselves at 86-67 and a half game up on the Blue Jays in the second AL Wild Card spot, after beating the Texas Rangers 7-3 on Wednesday night. They are also two games behind the Red Sox, who own the top Wild Card position.
In the final stretch of the season, the Yankees are going to have to beat these teams in order to make the playoffs. And while this is certainly a tall task, there is one factor that is riding in their favor.
Recently, the Yankees got back some major reinforcements in Luis Severino, Domingo German (activated Wednesday) and Michael King, who will all pitch out of a bullpen that is in desperate need of quality arms.
Due to the struggles of closer Aroldis Chapman and setup man Chad Green, the addition of this trio of hurlers helps provide some stability in the backend of the ‘pen.
Not to mention, the Yankees are getting close to having another dominant late-inning arm in Jonathan Loaisiga return as well. And with Jameson Taillon’s activation looming, this will provide an additional piece in their rotation to help give them some meaningful outings down the stretch.
It’s safe to say that the Yankees will need all of the help they can get, as they get set to duke it out with the ‘Sox and Jays for a Wild Card berth.
Having Severino, German, King and Loaisiga in the bullpen gives them a pretty good shot at prevailing in the final nine games of the season.
Although they have to get there first, the Yankees’ pitching staff being at full strength for the first time all season, sets them up to potentially make some noise in the month of October.
Regardless of a brutal final stretch on the schedule, the Yankees are now in a much better position than they have been in their previous meetings with their rivals.
And while they haven’t had the results, which they would’ve hoped for against these tough division opponents, the return of this plethora of proven pitchers could create a different outcome in order to help them make a late-push for the postseason.