Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/17/13

Coming into every season for the New York Yankees, the mission is always October, especially in seasons where they are saying goodbye to a legend and all time great, Mariano Rivera. We are two weeks into September and the New York Yankees are still in the hunt for October. This season has been filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, it has been the craziest rollercoaster of a year that I have ever seen during a Yankees season. Almost anything that could go wrong with a team has gone wrong for the New York Yankees. They have been decimated with injuries, they have had no offense and incredible pitching from the rotation and bullpen and now, at the end of the season they have issues with their pitching and the name the “Bronx Bombers” has lived up to its name. With 12 games left in the Yankees season they sit 3 games out of a wild card spot trailing the Ranger and top team, Rays by 4 game in the loss column. Many people have counted out the Yankees all year long, but not me! As a die heart fan, I will admit it has been a difficult, I want to pull hair out of my head type of season. And sometimes yes, I scream at the television wondering what Girardi is doing, and how the Yankees blow two lead against the Red sox in a vital series, but yet again, NEVER COUNT OUT THE YANKEES! I’ve been saying it time and time again, after losing three of four games against Boston at home, and then getting swept in Boston this past weekend somehow the Yankees are still in it. Why do I think there going to make the playoffs you ask, because of their schedule, and the teams that they are trying to catch schedules. Here are the schedule and standings for 6 Wild Card contending teams that are all separated by 3 games. Rangers Rays Orioles Cleveland Kansas City Yankees Away Rays3 Home Rangers3 Away Red Sox3 Away Royals3 Home Indians 3 Away Blue Jays3 Away Royals3 Home Orioles4 Away Rays4 Home Astros4 Home Rangers 3 Home San Fran3 Home Astros3 Away Yankees3 Home Blue Jays3 Home White Sox2 Away Mariners 3 Home Ray3 Home Angles3 Away Blue Jays 3Home Red Sox3 Home Twins Home White Sox 4Away Astros3 Tampa Bay 82 67 0.55 1 Texas 81 68 0.544 - Cleveland 81 69 0.54 0.5 Baltimore 79 70 0.53 2 Kansas City 79 71 0.527 2.5 NY Yankees 79 71 0.527 2.5 With Rangers Losing and the Scuffling Rays playing a 4 game set with 1 already completed seven straight games and the Rays scuffling, it doesn’t look like good for either team both teams leading the Wild Card right now. If the Yankees do what they need to do and go at least 9-3, with help from other teams, when they really should go 11-1 over their next 12 they could end up with a Wild Card Spot The Rays have a difficult schedule after playing the Twins with 4 against the rangers and orioles, and another possible season defining three game series against the Yankees in New York then finish up the season across the border in Toronto. They Rays are scuffling and playing bad baseball at the wrong time of the Year and as a result they could lose that Wild Card spot. The Orioles still have 6 games against the Red Sox, four against the Rays and three against Toronto as all these divisional games will be difficult, and even though the Orioles made the playoffs for the first time last season since 1996, inexperience could still play a factor of playing must win meaningful games in September. Cleveland has the easiest schedules of the five teams although playing the Royals another three games will be tough for them since the Royals are also surprising the baseball world as they too are still in the Hunt. Speaking of the a formed mention Royals, there Schedule is also difficult with three series consecutive series against the Indians, Rangers, and Tigers, and by the end of that stretch you could see the Royals fall out of the race. The Yankees after playing the Red Sox this coming weekend, have a fairly easy schedule like the Indians do. They play three in Toronto where they have great success there, three against the surprisingly struggling Giants and then what could and probably will be a season defining series, basically three playoff games against the Rays before heading off to Houston to play the worst team in the league to finish up there season. The way I see it, if the Yankees are anywhere within three games behind of the Rays tied with or leading the Wild Card, it all comes down to that series. The goal for the Yankees is to stay within reaching distance of controlling their own destiny when it comes to that pivotal three game series, and whoever takes those games during that series will most likely be playing in October. May the best team win!

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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