Why did the Yankees clinch the AL East today even though both New York and Boston can finish with the same record if the Red Sox win tomorrow? Here’s the explanation:
If Boston wins tomorrow (which would eliminate the Indians), the Sox will tie the Yankees with a 95-67 record. In that case, head-to-head records are used because the Yankees (East champion) and Red Sox (wild card team) would have already clinched playoff spots.
Why is the head-to-head record (the Yankees lead 10-8) used instead of a playoff game?
A one-game playoff game is only staged when there is a postseason berth at stake, not for postseason seeding purposes.