MLB can be certain that it will pump this as much as possible, given the market and the need, so the Yankees, who are now 21 games above.500, cannot lose.
They defeated the Braves Monday night to earn their 10th consecutive win and 18th in 22 August game. They are now within striking distance of the Rays (4 games back) and have taken over the first wild card spot ahead of Red Sox.
The reason for the surge is easy to see. The Yankee offense is now healthy, and the Yanks are back to the situation where they seem to have 12 players for nine positions but all 12 of them get to hit every night. Giancarlo Stanton has not had anything happen to him in August and has a wOBA (weighted average of.410) for the month. Aaron Judge's wOBA is.394, while moving between right and left to accommodate the many hitters on the team. Stanton's entry onto the field, despite any injury to him or the wall that he might run into, opened up the spot for Luke Volt, who is now healthy and is hitting.620 since his return. Tyler Wade even turns baseballs into plasma. All of this has helped to mask Anthony Rizzo's unvaccinated status, either on the IL or automatic out.
The Yankees are all about the pen. They have been able balance Aroldis Chapmans injury and Zack Brittons tendency towards playing with matches with great work by lesser names such as Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga who are great at keeping everything on the ground. The rotation has been constantly changing, but everyone except Luis Gil has demonstrated remarkable control. No one walks more than three batters every nine innings. Although Gil has had his fair share of free passes he's still been able to strike out 28 percent of the batters he's seen.
This is a daunting lineup that anyone will have to deal with in the playoffs, even if everyone stays healthy (a big if in Bronx), and even if Aaron Boone must put together innings after Gerrit Cole, which he has been through.
If the Yankees secure their spot, Cole can be saved for the coin flip game and they don't have to worry about him being unavailable until Game 3 of the Division Series.
Let's just hope that they don't play the Astros. These games will last six hours.