The drive for 89

The Yankees can still make the playoffs. They just have to get hot starting right now. This morning, we went into a lot of the reasons why, but our colleague Dan Szymborski has gone further inside the numbers and found that the key is to get to 89 wins, which for the Yankees means a 10-2 finish. Here is Szymborski's piece (Insider):

The key numbers for the AL wild card are 88 and 89. In a million simulations, teams with 87-75 records made the playoffs 13.8 percent of the time, 88-74 teams made it 40.2 percent of the time, and most 89-73 teams made the playoffs, 79.4 percent of the time. So keep that in mind as we go through these scenarios.

So who should the Yankees be rooting for this week?

The Bombers will need some help, and their best-case scenario involves the Rays sweeping the Rangers, as the Yankees have three games left against the Rays at home. These are their only games remaining against a playoff contender, so they want to be in a position where the head-to-head games are against a team close enough to matter.

If Kansas City were to sweep the Indians at the same time, then the wild card race could be in complete chaos going into the second to last weekend of the season. The Yankees must finish 10-2 and they make make it to the wild card game.