Everyone is talking about how the Yankees could win 100 games this year and still have to play in the postseason. With the Athletics red hot since the All-Star break, and the amount of injuries down in Houston, the Astros could be in the same boat.
The New York Yankees are locked into second place of the American League East. They currently trail the Red Sox by 10.5 games, and have a 15 game lead over the third place Rays. The Yankees are 77-46 which puts them on pace to go 101-61. It’s a crime they will almost certainly have to play in the Wild Card as this team currently has the second best record in all of baseball.
The Astros were rolling early on and looked like they would breeze by the American League West to an ALDS appearance. In June and even July, the Athletics were considered sellers by many. Since then they have stormed into contention and are now tied with the Astros for first place at 74-49. They did so in dramatic fashion, walking-off the Astros in the 10th inning last night. The Athletics are the second hottest team in the league, only trailing the Boston Red Sox who appear to be head and shoulders above the rest of the league. The Athletics have won 7 of their last 10, while the Astros have only won 3 of their last 10. Oakland continues to rise and now has the fans behind them and some serious momentum. The Astros are struggling and have some injuries in key places. Houston still has the best team, but the American League West title could be headed to Oakland.
Now, what would a Yankees, Astros Wild Card look like? It would most likely be in New York as they have the better record and are still playing like an elite team this season. Luis Severino would likely get the call, which could be an issue for the Evil Empire. Luis Severino is 16-6 with a 3.28 ERA. Since July, Severino has struggled mightily going 4-4 with a 6.33 ERA, 11 homeruns allowed, and 30 earned runs in 42.2 innings. Also last season Severino got the call for the Wild Card game in Yankee Stadium, and it didn’t go well. Sevy lasted 0.1 IP (that’s one out people) and gave up three earned runs. If the Yankees want a chance to beat the defending World Series champs, he’s going to have to turn it on and get at least to the 6th before handing it to the Yankees elite bullpen.
The Houston Astros will be turning to their savior once again should this game happen, Justin Verlander. The Ace of the Stros is 11-8 with a 2.52 ERA in 164.1 IP (26 GS). Verlander has a history of being clutch, and really showed off last season. He put up a 5-0 record, with a 2.21 ERA, 38/8 K/BB ratio, and a .177 BAA (Batting Average Against) in 36.2 IP in the 2017 postseason. Since then he has continued to cruise and has not yet faltered in an Astros uniform. If this game happens I’m rolling with the Astros as I do not envision a scenario where Verlander doe’s not shut down any lineup put out there with the season on the line.
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports