The New York Yankees have clinched their playoff spot despite being ravaged by injuries. The Yankees secured their playoff spot due to the Mariners’ loss to the Padres on Sunday. The Yankees making the playoffs is not a surprise to anyone, especially with the expanded format this season. However, just two weeks ago the Yankees advancing to the postseason looked anything but certain.
On 8th September the Yankees’ winning percentage was just .500, after two-thirds of the season, and a number of their biggest stars were on the injured list. Both Judge and Stanton have missed large parts of the season due to injury. On top of missing their two best hitters, Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres have missed games due to injury. The pitching staff fared just as badly than the lineup with James Paxton, Luis Severino and Tommy Kahnle being ruled out for the rest of the season. A shortened season increases the chance of a teams’ season being ruined by injuries and in early in September it looked like the Yankees were that team.
Just as it looked as though the Yankees would slip out of postseason contention they went on a 10 game winning streak. Without many of their key players the Yankees needed the rest of the lineup to makeup for the lost production at the plate and they did exactly that. Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu and Clint Frazier all have an OPS above .950 with Frazier and LeMahieu on track for career best numbers. Luke Voit also leads the league in homeruns, cementing his place as the third big bat in the middle of the Yankees lineup.
The stellar offense from the Yankees even without Stanton and Judge kept them in the playoff race all season and with their two star hitters returning to the lineup towards the end of the winning streak, they are set to have the best lineup in baseball. With Stanton, Judge, Frazier, LeMahieu and Voit they will have five hitters with MVP like numbers going into the postseason.
The Yankees will once again be among the World Series favourites. With the best of three first round this season, momentum will be even more important than usual in the playoffs. If the Yankees can stay hot heading into the postseason they will have more momentum than anyone.