Yankees Clinch 2019 AL East Title, Reach 100 Wins with 9-1 Victory vs. Angels

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 20, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 19:  DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees celebrates his three run home run with teammate Austin Romine #28 in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium on September 19, 2019 in Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Yankees won the American League East for the first time since 2012 after beating the Los Angeles Angels 9-1 on Thursday.

New York also clinched a postseason berth for the third straight season and 20th time since 1995.

The victory gave the Yanks a 100-54 record, mathematically eliminating the second-place Tampa Bay Rays from winning the division.

The 90-63 Rays, who are also second in the AL wild-card standings, have a best-case scenario of 99-63.

New York is on pace for its best record since going 114-48 in 1998 and has somehow excelled even though 30 Yankees have landed on the injured list through Wednesday, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

That group includes 2018 staff ace Luis Severino and 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Severino made his 2019 debut Tuesday, and Stanton returned to the field Wednesday after missing all but nine games.

The Yankees' tremendous depth has been their calling card, with pickups such as Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford and Cameron Maybin admirably filling in the voids during the season. The Yankees bullpen also ranks ninth in league ERA.

New York will be a tough team to beat come playoff time, but the Yanks' starting pitching may prevent them from their 28th World Series victory. James Paxton is the only qualified starter with an ERA below 4.00, and the starting rotation is just 17th in ERA.

Still, New York's powerful bats can lead to high-scoring wins, which has been the case often. The team entered Thursday first in runs and second in home runs.

The 2019 MLB playoffs will begin October 1 with the National League Wild Card Game. The AL version takes place the following day.

The Yankees will start their postseason October 4 against an opponent to be determined. They will begin at Yankee Stadium if they finish with a top-two seed in the American League. New York entered Thursday 5.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins, who sit in third.

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