How Many Games Until the Yankees Clinch the AL East?

The New York Yankees have clinched the AL East for the first time since 2012. Here’s a look at how many games they need to win to clinch the division.

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Yankees’ Current Situation

The Yankees are currently in first place in the AL East with a record of 58-28. They are 5.5 games ahead of the second place Rays and 7.5 games ahead of the third place Red Sox. With 29 games left to play, the Yankees need to win just 16 more games to clinch the division.

Current record

The Yankees have clinched the AL East title!

They have done so by having the best record in the American League.

The Yankees have not clinched the best record in baseball, however.

The Houston Astros currently have a better record than the Yankees.

The Yankees have clinched a playoff berth and will face either the Oakland Athletics or the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card Game.

Games left to play

The Yankees have games left to play in the regular season. If they win all of those games, they will clinch the AL East title.

Other teams in the AL East

The New York Yankees are in first place in the AL East with a record of 92-59. The next closest team is the Tampa Bay Rays, who are eight games back with a record of 84-67. The Rays would need to go on an absolute tear and the Yankees would need to collapse in order for the Rays to have a chance of winning the division.

Current records

The Yankees are currently 8.5 games ahead of the Rays for the AL East lead, and they have a magic number of 22. That means any combination of 22 Yankee wins or Rays losses will clinch the division title for New York. The Yankees have 27 games remaining on their schedule, while the Rays have 30.

Games left to play

As of September 18th, the Yankees have 88 games left to play in the 2020 regular season. They are currently in first place in the American League East with a record of 28-19 (.424). The second place team in the division, the Tampa Bay Rays, have a record of 27-20 (.574) and are 2.5 games behind the Yankees. The Rays have 86 games left to play. The Boston Red Sox are in third place with a record of 24-23 (.511) and are 5.5 games behind the Yankees. The Sox have 85 games left to play. The Toronto Blue Jays are in fourth place with a record of 22-25 (.468) and are 7.5 games behind the Yankees. The Jays have 83 games left on their schedule. The Baltimore Orioles are in last place with a record of 17-30 (.362), 12.5 games behind the Yankees, and have 78 games left to play.

In order for the Yankees to clinch the AL East division title, they need to ensure that they have more wins than any other team in the division at the end of the regular season. Based on the records of all five teams in the division as of September 18th, and the number of games each team has left to play, it is possible for the Yankees to clinch the AL East as early as September 24th if they win all seven of their remaining games and both the Rays and Red Sox lose all seven of their remaining games.

Projections

According to our projections, the Yankees will clinch the AL East in 91 games.

FanGraphs

According to the FanGraphs, the Yankees have a 97.4% chance of winning the AL East. They are projected to win 101 games and lose 61. The Rays are projected to win 91 games and lose 71.

PECOTA

PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) is a quantitative method used by baseball analysts to forecast player performance. Developed by former Baseball Prospectus writer Nate Silver, PECOTA projects future performance based on extremes of past performance. It has been praised for its accuracy in predicting player performance, as well as its ability to identify breakout players.

FiveThirtyEight

The Yankees have a magic number of four to clinch the AL East, meaning any combination of four Yankees wins or Baltimore losses will give New York its 28th division title since 1995. The Orioles, meanwhile, are all but mathematically eliminated from division contention; they would need to go 13-2 while the Yankees went 4-11 the rest of the way to force a one-game playoff for the division title. We give Baltimore just a 0.3 percent chance of winning the East.

The race for home-field advantage in the American League is tight: The Astros hold a slim lead over the Yankees and Indians, with all three teams within two games of each other. Houston’s magic number for clinching home field is four, meaning any combination of four Astros wins or Yankees/Indians losses will do the trick. The Astros have an 80 percent chance of having home field in the AL, while the Yankees have a 17 percent chance and the Indians have a 3 percent chance.

Conclusion

The New York Yankees have clinched the American League East title.

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