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MLB playoff scenarios: Yankees just need to win on Wednesday

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

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

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.

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"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.