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What do the Yankees have to do to clinch a playoff berth on Sunday?

New York can clinch a playoff berth with a win, but a loss opens the door for some playoff chaos. We break down the scenarios.

Aaron Judge #99 (R) and Anthony Rizzo #48 of the New York Yankees look on after the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on October 02, 2021 in New York City. The Rays defeated the Yankees 12-2. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

This isn’t the spot the New York Yankees wanted to be in heading into the weekend. They’ve had multiple opportunities to seal up a AL Wild Card spot but have faltered down the stretch to the Tampa Bay Rays. Two straight losses to the Rays and the Yankees find themselves in a dog fight to get into the one-game playoff.

The good thing is in most scenarios, the Yankees at least get in. If they beat the Rays, they’re in no matter what and will most likely play the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday. It would be the first one-game playoff between the rivals since 1978 when Bucky Dent hit his infamous HR.

If the Yanks win and the Red Sox lose, the game is in the Bronx on Tuesday. The Red Sox play the Washington Nationals on Sunday. If the Yankees lose, there are still paths to the wild card. They would need losses by the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays in order to get in. Though, if the Yankees lose and everyone takes care of business, then things get pretty interesting. It would end up being a 3-way or even 4-way tie.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan breaks it down better in the chart below: