Last year was expected to be a rebuilding year for the Yankees but they ended up coming short one game of making it to the World Series. This year, they were clear favorites to make the playoffs [VIDEO]. They have officially clinched a wild-card spot and will host the Athletics at Yankee Stadium on October 3. This is how the Yankees got to the playoffs.

Death lineup

There's no argument that the Yankees have the deepest and most powerful lineup in baseball and there are so many facts to back that up. Yesterday, Torres hit home run number 266 for the Yankees which gave them the most home runs by any team in one season. The 2018 Yankees also have had the most players on their roster to hit ten or more home runs in a season with 12 players reaching the mark.

The Yankees have some of the most feared sluggers in the game. They have Aaron Judge, who strikes fear with his stature of 6'7 and 282 pounds. Judge has slugged 27 home runs this season but missed quite some time with injuries. The Yankees also have Giancarlo Stanton who they acquired from the Marlins in the off-season and who is the reigning NL MVP. Stanton is a behemoth himself at 6'6 and 245 pounds. Stanton has cranked 38 home runs with 100 RBIs and has one more game left to add to the regular season. The Bronx Bombers also have Gary Sanchez in their powerful lineup who missed time due to injury but has the ability to absolutely smash the ball.

A death lineup does not consist of three players as the Yankees lineup is dangerous from one through nine. They have Didi Gregorius who has hit 27 home runs and has slugged a career-high .494. Aaron Hicks also hit 27 home runs and there are still other members of the lineup that make it dangerous.

As a team, the Yankees have scored 849 home runs and have the highest slugging percentage of any team with a .453 clip.

Youth movement

One reason the Yankees have been doing so good this year due to their rookies who have put on a great show this year. Both Andujar and Torres have been a big part of the Yankees this year and both of them are rookie of the year candidates who will most likely be competing against each other for the award.

Andujar has been manning the hot corner for the Yankees and has done a magnificent job doing so. Andujar has slashed .297/.329/.527 with 27 home runs and 92 RBIs. He has also hit 46 doubles which is the fourth highest in the league. What's surprising about Andujar is that even though he has a great average and slugging percentage, his on-base percentage of .329 is poor.

The Yankees have Gleyber Torres, another rookie that has been playing on the other side of the field. Torres is slashing .274/.342/.485 with 24 home runs and 77 RBIs. Torres has played 122 games this season and is a huge part of the Yankees plans going forward.

Deadline acquisitions

The Yankees made a slew of trades at both trade deadlines [VIDEO] and all the players they've gotten have been fantastic in pinstripes. Luke Voit came over in a deal with the Cardinals and has been on fire since his first day in New York. He has played 38 games for the Yankees and is slashing .328/.403/.672 with 13 home runs. He was the twelfth player on the Yankees to hit ten or more home runs.

Another trade they made is when they acquired Happ from the Blue Jays in order to improve their rotation. In 11 starts, Happ is 7-0 with a 2.69 E.R.A. The Yankees also got Britton from the Orioles to improve their bullpen. Britton has appeared in 25 games for the Yankees and holds a 2.88 E.R.A. with a .201 opponent average. The Yankees also acquired Lynn from the Twins who has been a serviceable starter.

At the waiver trade deadline, the Yankees made a big move by acquiring 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen has been the primary lead-off hitter for the Yankees since he came over and has an OBP of .421. They also acquired Adeiny Hechavarria from the Pirates who is a glove-first player and has been playing spectacular defense for the Yankees at shortstop with Gregorius injured.

Rotation

The Yankees starting rotation isn't the greatest but it was good enough to get them to the playoffs. The rotation is led by Luis Severino who is 19-8 with 220 strikeouts in 191 1/3 innings pitched. He's followed by Tanaka who is 12-6 with a 3.75 E.R.A. and they also have Sabathia who has a 3.65 E.R.A. The Yankees fourth and fifth starters have been changed throughout the year because of injuries and trade acquisitions.

Super pen

The Yankees have one of the best bullpens in the game and it could very well be the best in the major leagues. They have flamethrower Aroldis Chapman who has been used in lower leverage situations lately but is one of the top relief pitchers in the game. Chapman has 32 saves in 34 opportunities and has struck out 93 batters in 51 1/3 innings. He also holds a career-best opponent average of .136. The Yankees bullpen also has Dellin Betances who has struck out 100+ batters for the fifth consecutive season. Betances has 115 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings which gives an opponent average of .186. David Robertson, who is in his second stint with the Yankees, has struck out 90 batters in 69 innings and holds a .184 opponent average. Green has a 2.50 E.R.A. with 94 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings pitched and Holder has only given up four home runs in 66 innings pitched.