Amid Yankees’ chaos, here is their potential path to the 2021 MLB playoffs

Yankees Aaron Boone and gamers on mound gray uniform

Welcome to a frenetic last two weeks of a topsy-turvy season for the Yankees, the place the one factor that appears sure about this pinstriped membership is that it’s going to swing wildly between wanting unbeatable and, properly, taking part in one thing properly under that.

Should you’re on the lookout for a one-word id for this group, how about chaos? It’s what has introduced the Yankees so far, 1.5 video games out of a playoff spot going into Monday’s tilt towards the visiting Texas Rangers.

We don’t know if we’ll see unbeatable once more. This may very well be recency bias, however beatable definitely feels extra probably. That doesn’t bode properly for his or her playoff probabilities.

The Cleveland Indians pounded the Yankees Saturday and Sunday, outscoring them, 22-4, and clobbered Gerrit Cole on Sunday. Uh, hasn’t almost each MLB group thrown a no-hitter towards Cleveland this yr? Or one thing like that. Cole, the $324-million ace, obtained booed at Yankee Stadium after permitting seven runs and 10 hits in 5.2 innings.

“We’ve obtained to get higher in a rush, interval,” Aaron Boone mentioned after Sunday’s recreation.

Smashing Texas would definitely assist. The Rangers are a foul group (55-94). Sweeping them might be crucial to the Yankees’ October desires. Can’t have a repeat of the way in which Yanks vs. Orioles has gone currently — contender goes belly-up towards also-ran — and count on to nonetheless be a postseason issue.

After a three-game set towards Texas, the Yankees journey to Boston after which Toronto for 3 video games in every contender’s metropolis. They’re the groups in entrance of the Yanks within the AL Wild Card race.

Meaning — as absurd as it might sound for a group that adopted up a 13-game successful streak with an O’s-esque 7-15 nosedive — the Yanks nonetheless maintain some affect within the Wild Card chase. Fortunate for them.

Unfortunate for them — each groups look sharp. The Purple Sox have gained 5 straight. They’ve additionally crushed the Yankees 6-of-7 at Fenway Park this yr. The Blue Jays are 15-3 this month and their younger stars appeared unfazed by any percolating postseason strain.

The Yankees are in fourth place at 83-67. Let’s do some math: If the Yanks end 9-3 (a stretch, we all know), they’d be 92-70. To get to 93-69, the Purple Sox (86-65) need to go 7-4. The Blue Jays, who enter Monday at 84-65, must go 9-4.

If the Yanks have been to play to the identical successful proportion (.553) they’ve had all yr, they’d get 6.6 wins of their last dozen video games. Let’s be beneficiant and spherical up. A 7-5 document would put them at 90-72. To get to 91 wins, the Purple Sox want solely go 5-6; the Jays 7-6.

Sure, we’re telling you there’s an opportunity. However, let’s let Boone lay it out for you once more on this re-run: “We’ve obtained to get higher in a rush, interval.”

Right here’s a spot to begin: Hitting with runners in scoring place. The Yankees are twenty ninth in common with RISP (.230) and twenty eighth in OPS (.680). It’s been even worse lately — in 15 video games since Sept. 6, the Yanks are hitting .167 with RISP.

They’ve hit extra dwelling runs (34) in September than any group aside from the (gulp) Blue Jays. They usually’ve homered in 12 consecutive video games. However they solely went 5-7 over that span. The Yanks are solely averaging 4.11 runs per recreation this month. Total, the Yankees common 4.33 runs, 0.20 runs under the MLB common.

A giant streak by their greatest participant, Aaron Choose, might infuse the offense: He’s batting .197 with a .719 OPS up to now in September.

The Yanks’ pitching workers was a stealth power for a very long time and it might preserve the group in competition regardless of a disappointing offense rife with big-name underperformance.

However the Yankees have a 4.68 ERA this month, almost a run worse than their season mark of three.76. The 4.68 ERA for September can be the second-worst single month this season if it holds up. Cole has a 4.64 ERA this month and accidents have contributed to the workers slide, too.

Maybe getting again pitchers akin to Luis Severino (who was activated on Monday), Domingo German, Jameson Taillon, and Jonathan Loaisiga might help.

We’ll see. At varied factors this season, the Yankees have been 5-10, 28-19, 33-32 and 76-52. Streakiness is on this group’s DNA. Perhaps making the postseason hinges merely on this:

Have they got one final terrific streak left?

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