MLB Predictions 2011: Can New York Yankees Even Make the Playoffs This Season?
The New York Yankees will not win the World Series in 2011.
Surprised by such a statement? Nah, I didn't think so.
What about this? The Yankees will not win the American League East.
Getting any bolder? No?
Alright. Try this one on for size. The Yankees will not win the American League wild card, therefore failing to qualify for the 2011 MLB playoffs.
Did that one at least get some emotions questioning whether or not that could really be the case this season?
The Yankees are a solid team. That much is true. They still have one of the most lethal lineups in all of baseball, and the end of their bullpen is as strong as any in the game.
But the rest of that bullpen is going to get awfully tired, because many of their starters will not make it out of the fifth inning in many games.
C.C. Sabathia is an ace. We know that. The guy is a horse. Although, I guess he is a slightly smaller horse to start the 2011 campaign. But what about after his spot the other four games?
A.J. Burnett could bounce back and win 18 games, or he could lose just as many. Phil Hughes shows some flashes of brilliance, but it is his inconsistency that has to be alarming.
Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Mark Prior will all be in line for starts this year, but I can't see any of those names striking that much fear into the hearts of teams such as the Boston Red Sox.
The batting order from top to bottom is as dangerous as they come. But they also have some questions. Will Derek Jeter bounce back from his worst career year? How will Alex Rodriguez hold up as the season progresses? Can Mark Teixeira finally get off to a decent start? And will Jorge Posada be able to produce as the every day designated hitter?
You can never count the Yankees out, as they have the resources available to pull off a huge trade at any point in the season. But a lot would have to go right for them - and a lot to go wrong for the Sox - for this Yankees team to make the playoffs.
For more on the first pitches from every game, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Mets Featured Columnist Ash Marshall, who takes a look at MLB Opening Day 2011: 20 memories, Stats and Facts from Baseball's Opening Day.
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