Last year saw the baseball season end on one of the most exciting days the game has ever seen. This year, the race for the postseason is just as exciting in the American League, even if all the tickets have been punched. Everyone is in for the American League, but the seeds are yet to be determined. But with the action tonight, a clearer picture of this muddled and frantic race to the finish will start to get more clearer.
The New York Yankees entered the night a game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East. Before the game, Baltimore took issue with the fact that the Red Sox weren’t starting their usual lineup against the Yankees when a Red Sox win meant the Orioles were in a position to win the AL East tonight for the first time since the dawn of mankind.
All was well for most of the night as the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays, moving a half game within the Yankees and desperately needing the Red Sox to pull something out.
While the Orioles were dismantling the Rays in Tampa, Boston was actually pulling off the improbable upset in Baltimore’s favor. That was until the Yankees stormed back in the ninth to tie the game and eventually win it in the 12th. Good news for fans of the Bronx Bombers and discouraging news for Orioles fans.
Baltimore is in the postseason, nothing can change that. But by winning the AL East crown, they would officially be in the ALDS and not have to play a one game playoff against either the A’s or Rangers to get to the ALDS to face the aforementioned Yankees. It all comes down to tomorrow’s season finale and the Orioles postseason fate rests in the hands of the very team the beat out of the playoffs last year — the Boston Red Sox.
Lucky for the O’s, Boston isn’t about to exact revenge on the Orioles by tanking to the much hated Yankees.
Even luckier for us, the road to the American League playoffs may be paved by the street signs have yet to go up. We don’t know where anyone’s going to go at this point and once again playoff positioning will come down to two separate games on the final day of baseball.