W L PCT GB LEFTIf the Yankees go 19-19, the Red Sox will need a 28-11 record (.718) to top them.
Yankees 78 46 .629 --- 38
Red Sox 70 53 .569 7.5 39
If the Yankees can go 21-17 -- which, at .553, is worse than Boston's overall percentage this year -- the Red Sox will need a 30-9 (.769) finish.
(I'm not thinking about a division tie, though if Boston wins at least one of the three games in late September they will win the season series, so perhaps I should. If New York sweeps, the teams will be even at 9-9. The next criteria would be which team has the higher winning percentage in intra-division games; Boston is currently 32-20 and New York is 30-20).
Baseball Propsectus' three sets of Playoff Odds put the Yankees as 95.7%, 94.8% and 95.9% bets to win the East. Cool Standings has New York at 91.5%.
It's a steep hill to climb. But if good luck stings the Red Sox and they sweep four from the White Sox this week while New York (off today) gets swept at home by the Rangers (who are 1 GB Boston in the wild card), these numbers will change tremendously.
*: If winning the division is still possible -- and it clearly is -- then that's what I'm on board for. The Yankees have never blown this big a lead this late in the season? Pfft. They had never blown a 3-0 lead in a best-of-7 series before, either.