Nothing that can happen today will affect the playoff bracket in the American League. The Yankees will host the Oakland A’s on Wednesday night in the wild card game, with the winner going to Boston for Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday, the same day Cleveland opens up its series in Houston.
If those five teams get three wins as a group on Sunday, though, they will average 100 wins apiece entering the playoffs, which I would be willing to wager has never happened in the era of the five-team playoff setup. This is the first time in history that three teams from the same league have won 100 games. Obviously one of these two teams will get a win in this game, which leaves Cleveland at Kansas City, Houston at Baltimore and Oakland at the LA Angels.
I mention that because one could easily make the argument the American League has the five best teams, of the ten, in the postseason. Chicago has ninety-four wins in the NL, as does Milwaukee, but the other three enter Sunday with just ninety wins apiece. Whatever team emerges from the American League will have truly run the gauntlet.
This is the first season ever that the Red Sox and Yankees have each won 100 games and New York set some franchise history of its own on Saturday.
Gleyber Torres hit the 265th home run for the Yankees as the ninth man in the lineup, which accomplished a pair of impressive feats. Firstly, it gave the 2018 Yankees the record for most home runs as a team, surpassing the 1997 Mariners, who got fifty-six homers from Ken Griffey Jr. and another forty from Jay Buhner.
At the time, Giancarlo Stanton led the team with thirty-seven and nobody else had more than twenty-seven. Stanton went on to homer later in the game to extend New York’s all-time lead with the team’s 266th dinger. The point is, New York’s power is spead out. Torres’ shot was the 20th home run the Yankees got from the ninth spot in the lineup, which rounded out the entire lineup, one through nine. Considering Stanton is capable of more, Judge missed over a month and Gary Sanchez had a down year and missed a lot of time, it feels like this is a record New York could top again next season.
Miguel Andujar also broke Joe DiMaggio’s club record for doubles by a rookie when he roped his 45th double of the season down the left-field line. He, Didi Gregorious and Aaron Hicks all have twenty-seven homers entering Sunday.
Considering the Yankees don’t have anything more to play for and got all those records on Saturday, I’m thinking Aaron Boone rests some of his regulars in this game and won’t pitch so many of the guys he plans to rides in the playoffs. Alex Cora has been doing the same for the last two weeks.
Rick Porcello gets one final tune-up before the playoffs for the Sox. I’ll take the home team one final time before postseason plays fire up next week. Check back for wild card matchups early next week.
Play: Boston -120