AL East wild-card frenzy: Who will get in and who will miss out as Yankees and Red Sox meet?

  • Sports reporter, Kansas City Star, 2002-09
  • Writer, Baseball, Baseball Prospectus
  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus
  • Member, Baseball Writers Association of America
  • Member, Professional Basketball Writers Association

  • Covers MLB for ESPN.com
  • Former deputy editor of Page 2
  • Been with ESPN.com since 1995

New York Yankees. Boston Red Sox. Toronto Blue Jays. Two of these teams will probably go to the 2021 MLB playoffs as the American League wild cards. The other will go home.

So which will it be? As the Yankees and Red Sox battle this weekend at Fenway Park (Sunday Night Baseball, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN), ESPN baseball experts David Schoenfield and Bradford Doolittle debate.

Schoenfield: Well, Brad, your favorite rivalry has one final showdown for 2021 this weekend at Fenway Park, the greatest baseball place in all the land — unless, of course, the Yankees and Red Sox meet again in the AL wild-card game. The Red Sox enter the weekend with a little cushion over the Yankees and Blue Jays, so FanGraphs pegs their wild-card odds at 96.9%, with the Blue Jays at 55.9% and the Yankees at 41.2%. So basically a coin flip between the Yanks and Jays. I feel like that might be a little generous to the Yankees. Since that 13-game winning streak in August they’re 10-15, including losing four straight at home to the Blue Jays earlier this month. Sure, they just swept the Rangers and took two of three from the Orioles, but they finish with this series at Fenway, three at Toronto and then three at home against the Rays. The Blue Jays are at Minnesota and then finish at home against the Yankees and Orioles. I have the Red Sox hosting the Blue Jays in the wild-card game.

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