Jeff Zelevansky - Getty Images
The New York Yankees may have clinched a postseason berth; however, entering Monday's series opener with the visiting Boston Red Sox, there's plenty to play for. The Yankees (92-67), fresh off clinching at least a Wild Card spot Sunday with a come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and some help from the Texas Rangers, will try to move a step closer to winning the American League East Division crown.
New York can do so with a series sweep of its long-time rival, and a loss from the Baltimore Orioles (92-67), who are deadlocked with the Yankees for first place in the AL East and open a season-ending three-game series at the Tampa Bay Rays.
However, if the Orioles are able to collect the division title, New York will be forced to play in a one-game playoff that pits the two Wild Card teams against each other. The winner moves onto the AL Division Series.
[Related: Puzzling over Yankees' playoff scenarios]
Monday's contest will feature CC Sabathia (14-6) taking the mound against Clay Buchholz (11-7). Sabathia is coming off back-to-back dominant outings against the Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins, in which he allowed two runs in 16 innings with 21 strikeouts.
Buchholz will be making his final start of the season for the Red Sox (69-90), as he will be facing the Yankees for the second time this year.
New York could get a boost not only from its ace but also from its batting lineup. First baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to play for the first time since Sept. 8, as for the past few months he has been recovering from a left calf strain.
First pitch is schedule for 7:05 p.m. ET and the game can be seen locally on the YES Network.