The Yankees will play the AL Central Divison winner in the first round of the playoffs. The question now is whether they will face the Minnesota Twins or the Detroit Tigers int he ALDS. The Detroit Tigers are currently leading the division by 2 games with eight games left to play. The Twins are currently riding a 5 game winning streak, so you will see a interesting finish there.
The Yankees have dominated both the Tigers and Twins this season. The team has gone 7-0 in the season series against the Twins, and are 5-1 against the Tigers. I’m not going to go crazy here and say that the first round is a lock for the Yankees to get through, because I’ve seen too many chokes in the 1st round to say that.
Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger breaks down the good and bad points of facing either team.
Baseball is very unpredictable. The postseason is a crapshoot for the most part. The best team in baseball can get knocked out in the first round, and the worst team can go on to win the Fall Classic. You never know what might happen. When you enter the postseason, everyone’s slate is clear and your record is set at 0-0. The hottest team will go all the way.
Homefield advantage is nice, but that won’t win you the series. An injury here, a bad outing, a slump, or not hitting with RISP..you can be golfing in Florida.
Jayson Stark Ranks the postseason pitching rotations. He ranks the Top 5 as: Red Sox, Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees and Angels. This is what he said:
4. Yankees Prospective rotation: (1) CC Sabathia, (2) Andy Pettitte, (3) A.J. Burnett, (4) Joba Chamberlain or Chad Gaudin.
This team might have been our toughest call. We polled folks who rated them as the very best rotation out there. We also polled folks who ranked them as the fifth-best rotation out there. But we think, in truth, they’re somewhere in between.
“I like the Yankees because of depth,” said one executive. “Someone in that foursome could very well disappoint, but anyone in that foursome has a decent chance of pitching a dominant game.”
True. And that starts with Sabathia, whose 8.53 ERA over the past two postseasons is a stat most people in the game don’t take real seriously. “The last two years, he was worn completely down by the time he got there [by the Indians in '07 and the Brewers in '08],” said one NL executive. “That’s not who he is.”
But after CC, roll those dice. It’s amazing how little faith Burnett (2-5 since Aug. 1) inspires for a guy with spectacular stuff. (”I’d be very surprised,” said one scout, “if Burnett comes up big.”) The Yankees think Pettitte’s shoulder is OK, but who knows? And then there’s Joba, who has the Yankees so exasperated that they’ve told him he’ll have to outpitch Gaudin down the stretch if he even wants to get a postseason start.
So this is a very iffy group — but one with gigantic win-the-World-Series upside.