The 2024 season will soon be underway. In less than a week, pitchers and catchers will report to spring training, kicking off yet another year of baseball.
Previously, we predicted the winner of each division across the American League and National League. We'll continue making predictions in this piece as we dive into the American League Wild Card race. With the new Wild Card format, six teams per league make the postseason. The field features three division winners and three Wild Cards.
Last season, the AL Wild Card winners were the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays. We'll discuss which three teams will make the Wild Card spots this year.
AL Wild Card No. 3: New York Yankees
The Yankees had a difficult season in 2023. After putting together a 99-win season and cruising to an AL East title in 2022, New York fell flat in 2023, finishing in fourth place in the AL East and only winning 82 games, barely finishing above .500.
The Yankees were in desperate need of left-handed hitting this offseason and they were quick to address it. The team added Juan Soto and Trent Grisham in a trade with the San Diego Padres and acquired Alex Verdugo from their hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox. They also added a few key pieces to their starting rotation, signing both Luke Weaver and Marcus Stroman in free agency.
A big key for the Yankees this year will be the health of Aaron Judge. Without the 2022 AL MVP, the lineup fell flat. But if Judge is healthy, he, Anthony Rizzo, and Soto should give the Yankees a major offensive boost.
The bullpen remains strong with Clay Holmes, Ron Marinaccio, Scott Effross, and Tommy Kahnle, and Gerrit Cole can't be counted out as he looks to build off of a Cy Young campaign.