The AL East standings will come down to the final weekend of the regular season.
The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are tied for first place with identical 89-73 records, while the Toronto Blue Jays are a half-game back at 88-73.
The Yankees hold the tiebreaker over the Orioles, so they would win the division if the two teams finish tied.
But what happens if the Yankees and Blue Jays finish tied? Who would win the division in that scenario
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The AL East standings as of September 18th
As of September 18th, the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are in a tie for first place in the AL East standings. The Yankees have a record of 87-71, while the Blue Jays have a record of 86-72. So, who wins the tiebreaker between the two teams?
The Yankees’ recent games
The New York Yankees have clinched a playoff berth and are currently in first place in the AL East with a record of 87-75. They are currently tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for first place, but hold the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head record (10-9). The Yankees have played well lately, winning 7 of their last 10 games. They are led by sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who have combined for 79 home runs and 186 RBIs this season. The Yankees’ pitching staff has also been strong, led by ace Luis Severino (18-8, 3.39 ERA) and closer Aroldis Chapman (29 saves, 2.22 ERA).
The Yankees’ remaining schedule includes two games against the Blue Jays, three games against the Baltimore Orioles, and three games against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays’ remaining schedule includes two games against the Yankees, three games against the Rays, and four games against the Boston Red Sox.
The Blue Jays’ recent games
The Blue Jays have played well recently, winning seven of their last ten games. This includes a series victory over the Yankees, which has put them in a tie for first place in the AL East. The Blue Jays have the advantage in the tiebreaker, as they have won more games against divisional opponents than the Yankees have.
The head-to-head record between the Yankees and Blue Jays
In order to break the tie, we need to look at the head-to-head record between the Yankees and Blue Jays.
The Yankees and Blue Jays have played a total of 19 games against each other so far this season, with the Yankees winning 10 of those games and the Blue Jays winning 9.
Therefore, the Yankees would win the tiebreaker and would be declared the division champion.
The remaining schedule for the Yankees and Blue Jays
The remaining schedule for the Yankees and Blue Jays is as follows:
23- at New York Yankees
24- at New York Yankees
25- New York Yankees
26- New York Yankees
27- Toronto Blue Jays
28- Toronto Blue Jays
29- at Toronto Blue Jays
30- at Toronto Blue Jays
1- Baltimore Orioles (at Baltimore)
As you can see, the Yankees have a slightly tougher schedule down the stretch. They have to play the Orioles, who are in a race for a wild card spot, while the Blue Jays only have to play one team with a winning record. However, the schedules are close enough that it’s impossible to say for sure who will win the tiebreaker.
The potential for a one-game playoff
The potential for a one-game playoff has led to some interesting debates over the years. In Major League Baseball, if two teams are tied for first place at the end of the regular season, they play a one-game playoff to determine who goes to the playoffs.
The rules are different in other sports. For example, in the National Basketball Association, if two teams are tied at the end of the regular season, they each play an extra game against a different opponent. The team with the better record after those games goes to the playoffs.
In 2000, the Yankees and Blue Jays were tied for first place in the American League East with identical records of 87-74, meaning they would have to play a one-game playoff to decide who went to the playoffs. The Yankees won that game, 5-4.
The same thing happened in 2011, when the Cardinals and Braves were tied for first place in the National League Wild Card race with records of 90-72. The Cardinals won that game, 6-3.
Who would win a one-game playoff between the Yankees and Blue Jays?
The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays are two of the American League East’s best teams. They’re both fighting for first place in the division, and they’re both good enough to make a deep postseason run. But there’s a chance that only one of them will make it to the playoffs.
If the season ended today, the Yankees would win the division and the Blue Jays would win a wild card spot. But if the season ended tomorrow, the Blue Jays would win the division and the Yankees would win a wild card spot. So what happens if both teams finish with identical records?
There are a few different scenarios that could play out, but the most likely one is that they would have a one-game playoff to determine who wins the division. The winner of that game would go on to play in the ALDS, while the loser would have to settle for a wild card spot.
So who would win a one-game playoff between these two teams? It’s tough to say. The Yankees have a great lineup, but so do the Blue Jays. The Yankees have a strong rotation, but so do the Blue Jays. Both teams are evenly matched, and it would be anybody’s game.
In the end, it comes down to who wanted it more. And there’s no way to predict that.