As we watch the Yankees and Rays battle for the American League East title, it begs the question: Should either of them want to win the American League East title?
After being swept at the hands of the Rangers last weekend, and getting an up-close look at what a healthy Cliff Lee is going to throw at you twice over a five-game series, does the likely “prize” of facing Texas look like much of a prize right now?
On the other hand, the Twins, who await the wild-card winner, have the best record in baseball since the All-Star break and are 48-23 at home. Are they a better alternative?
Here’s a look at how the East contenders have matched up against potential first-round opponents.
Yankees vs. Rangers: 4-4, overall score 39-33
Yankees vs. Twins: 4-2, 24-21
Rays vs. Rangers: 4-2, 40-31
Rays vs. Twins: 5-3, 38-32
It’s another instance where, except for home-field advantage if they face each other in the second round, there’s no clear edge for the division winner. In fact, there have been some suggestions that the way Joe Girardi managed Monday night's loss to the Rays indicated he wasn't playing with an urgency to win.
It adds to the growing current of support for adding another wild card in each league and making the two wild cards play each other first in order to advance to the division series. With two wild cards, not only would we still have meaningful baseball in Boston and Chicago right now, the Yankees-Rays outcome would feel like it had something real at stake.
-- David AndriesenFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .