MLB playoff scenarios: Yankees just need to win on Wednesday

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

There are a multitude of playoff scenarios that could unfold after Wednesday, the final day of the 2012 Major League Baseball season.

If the New York Yankees win Wednesday and clinch the American League East title they would be doing everybody, probably even including the second-place Baltimore Orioles, a huge favor. If the Yankees lose to the Boston Red Sox and the Orioles win that would trigger tiebreaker games and a host of scenarios Major League Baseball would love, but players would hate.

The Yankees can earn both the AL East title and No. 1 seed in the American League on Wednesday if they win and the Texas Rangers lose to the Oakland Athletics. That would give the Yankees home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs. If the Yankees lose Wednesday and Baltimore defeats the Tampa Bay Rays the teams would play a one-game playoff Thursday in Baltimore. MLB.com breaks down all the confusing scenarios.

[Full preview | POLL: New wild-card format? | Bobby Valentine crashes bicycle]

"I think it's extremely important, because you want to be able to do that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "If you win, you win the division -- that's the bottom line. We have a chance to have the best record, and that's the bottom line. That's a good feeling that you can control that."

The Yankees send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound Wednesday against Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Boston Red Sox.

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