The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will reignite their storied rivalry in a single-elimination wild-card playoff game on Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to the American League Division Series.
Both teams were surprising this season.
New York had a ton of expectations coming into the season but struggled out of the gate and into the summer months. As the season came down to the wire, the Yankees picked up key wins over the Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers that enabled them to make the wild-card game.
Boston was not among the best teams to start the season but played well enough to somehow snag a wild-card spot. Boston finished 55-36 in the first half of the season and 37-34 in the second. Boston swept the Washington Nationals.
On Tuesday, one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports will have their World Series hopes on the line.
Here’s a few things you need to know.
What to know about the game?
New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of baseball game in Toronto on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
The Yankees and Red Sox will play each other Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET at Fenway Park. The Yankees recently swept the Red Sox at Fenway at the end of September. Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees and Nathan Eovaldi will step onto the mound for the Red Sox. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Recent Yankees-Red Sox playoff history
Boston Red Sox’s Christian Vazquez, center, reacts at third after he tripled during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Washington. At left is Red Sox third base coach Carlos Febles. Red Sox’s Jose Iglesias scored on the play. The Red Sox won 5-3 (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
It’s been a minute since the Yankees and Red Sox met in the MLB Postseason. The last time came in the 2018 American League Division Series. Boston won the series 3-1 and eventually won the World Series that year. It didn’t come without some intense moments, which included the Yankees playing “New York, New York” upon leaving Fenway Park after Game 2. It came back to haunt them.
What’s on the line?
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, left, pulls starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57) during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
The single-game wild-card playoff began in 2012. The winner moves on to the American League Division Series, which is the best of five games. It’s the fourth time the Yankees have made it to the wild-card round and they have won the do-or-die game twice. The last was a 7-2 win over the Oakland Athletics. The Red Sox have never been in the game.
The winner gets to play the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays in the division series.