Yankees-Angels: Preview Position by Position

Sean SerritellaCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 11: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run in the 7th inning against the Minnesota Twins in Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on October 11, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Previewing the Yankees-Angels series position by position


Jorge Posada and Jose Molina vs. Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis

Jorge Posada and Jose Molina make a more formidable tandem. Jorge has great offense, and Molina has a great rapport with A.J. Burnett. Jorge, mostly known for his offense, has hit .308 against the Angels, but Jose Molina has hit only .038 against the Angels. The Yankees will only need Molina to catch Burnett.

Mike Napoli has very good power, as evidenced in his 20 home runs in 100 games started. In seven games started he has batted .500 against the Yankees. His back up, Jeff Mathis has batted only .143 against the Yankees.

Edge: Yankees. The combination of Jorge Posada and Jose Molina are too much.

First Base

Mark Teixeira vs. Kendry Morales

Mark Teixeira is having an MVP season, but hits poorly against the Angels. He’s hitting .225. Morales is having a poor post season, but he has great power, and bats well against the Yankees. He’s batting .375 against the Yankees in 10 games.

Edge: Even. Mark doesn’t hit the Angels well, and Kendry hits the Yankees great. Mark has been performing exceptionally well in this post season.

Second Base

Robinson Cano vs. Howie Kendrick

Robinson Cano is having a great year against the Angels, and had a great year in general. In the regular season he batted .341 against the Angels, and has 14 hits in 10 games. It looks like he’ll get on base against the Angels.

Howie Kendrick has played in only 105 games. but had the most RBI of his career with 65. He’s having a poor post season, and he’s no Robinson Cano.

Edge: Yankees.


Derek Jeter vs. Erick Aybar

Derek Jeter is playing like Derek Jeter in the playoffs, and is hitting .333 against the Angels.

Erick Aybar is having a great post season, and started the rally against the Red Sox in Game Three. He hits decently against the Yankees with a .286 average.

Edge: Yankees. Jeter wants another championship.

Third Base

Alex Rodriguez vs. Chone Figgins.

Chone Figgins can steal a base on you at any time, and hits the Yankees pretty well with a .333 average. He’s having a poor post season, but scored eight runs against the Yankees in 10 games this year. He was also involved in the final runs against the Red Sox. He can get on base and steal at any time, as evidenced to his 42 stolen bases.

Alex Rodriguez has turned into a god in the post season. I can’t believe it. He’s batting an unheard of .455, with two meaningful home runs, and six RBI in three games. A-Rod is hitting .333 against the Angels.

Edge: Yankees. There’s not doubt that this is A-Rod’s playoffs. He owns it.


Nick Swisher vs. Bobby Bye Bye Abreu

Bobby Abreu is destroying the playoffs. To say he’s playing great is an understatement. He bats .333 against the Yankees.

Nick Swisher could be up and down, and he did not hit well against the Twins. He did not hit well against the Angels this year either, with a .211 batting average.

Edge: Angels. Bobby Abreu is just a better player than Nick Swisher, and is hot while Nick is cold.

Center Field

Melky Cabrera vs. Torii Hunter.

Torii Hunter overachieved most of the season, and hit the Yankees poorly with a .233 batting average. He will steal a base on you, and is one of the best fielding center fielders in the game.

Melky Cabrera has had an average season during the year, but has hit the Angels very well with a .393 batting average, and has a high on base percentage against the them batting .485.

Edge: Even. This could go either way during the series.


Johnny Damon vs. Juan Rivera

Where has Johnny Damon gone? He played terribly against the Twins batting only .083. The worse news, is that he batted .121 against the Angels in the regular season.

Juan Rivera had a very good year for the Angel,s but has only batted .222 against the Yankees. He hit against Boston just like he did in the regular season. He was consistent.

Edge: Even. Only because Johnny Damon doesn’t hit the Angels well, and is having a poor post season.

Starting Pitching

C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Chad Gaudin vs John Lackey, Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir, and Ervin Santana.

The Yankees' Starting Pitching

The Yankees had a team ERA of 4.48 during the regular season, which was fifht best in the league. The Yankee starting pitching won 63 games, and lost 42.

The question is, will the Yankees use Gaudin, or Sabathia on short rest? C.C Sabathia had a great year, and pitched very well in his first post season against the Twins, but pitched poorly against the Angels. He was 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA.

A.J. Burnett walked a lot of batters, and hit batters in his first playoff game against the Twins, but he did manage to give up only one earned run. He’ll have Molina catching him, so that should help. He was his usual self against the Angels with a 1-0 record, and a 4.26 ERA.

Andy Pettitte. Andy was dandy against the Twins, but did not pitch well against the Angels in the regular season. He was 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA.

Chad Gaudin started two games against the Angels, and got completely destroyed with a 11.74 ERA. I’m guessing Joe Girardi will use CC on short rest.

The Angels' starting pitching

The Angels had a team ERA of 4.44 during the regular season, which was fourth best in the league. The Angels starting pitching won 70 games, and lost 42.

John Lackey had a pretty good year, and pitched well against the Yankees with a 1-0 record, and 2.57 ERA. He threw 7.1 shut out innings against the Red Sox in the playoffs. He’s a big game pitcher who helped the Angels win the World Series by pitching a great Game Seven against the San Francisco Giants.

Jered Weaver gave up only one earned run against the Red Sox, but pitched poorly against the Yankees in the regular season going 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA.

Scott Kazmir didn’t pitch well against the Red Sox, but got bailed out by his offense in Game Three. Historically, he has pitched well against the Yankees with a 6-5 record, and a 2.67 ERA. He has pitched pretty well against them this year too, with a 2-1 record, and 3.20 ERA.

Ervin Santana has pitched better in the second half of the season than the first half. He pitched one game against the Yankees and gave up four earned runs in six innings. I’m assuming the Angels would rather use one of their pitchers on short rest than pitching Santana.

Edge: Even. This is a hard one to call. Any pitcher could get rocked at anytime since this is the playoffs. I would assume Burnett getting rocked for the Yankees and Kazmir getting rocked for the Angels but you never know. They both have stud pitchers at the top of their rotation in Sabathia and Lackey.

The Yankees' Bull Pen vs. the Angels' Bull Pen

The Yankee relievers had a 1-0 record against the Twins, with 1.80 ERA, and 13 strike outs, with a .341 batting average against in 10 innings.

In the regular season, they had a 3.91 ERA with 483 strike outs, and a .231 batting average against in 515 innings, which was the best in the American League. They were fifth best in the American League.

The Angel relievers had a 1.08 ERA against the Red Sox, and four strike outs with a .174 batting average against in 6.1 innings.

In the regular season they had a 4.49 ERA with 445 strike outs, and a .270 average against in 483.1 innings, which was the second highest allowed in the American League. They were the 11th best in the American League.

Brian Fuentes had a high ERA for a closer during the year, but he did lead the league in saves. In four games against the Yankees he has three saves but a 9.00 ERA.

Mariano Rivera is God if you heard about that, and in four appearances against the Angels he has a 0.00 ERA.

Edge: Slight edge to the Yankees, and only a slight edge because of how well the Angels' relievers pitched against the Red Sox. You also have to throw in the Joba factor. Joba pitches better as a reliever, and the Yankees can turn the game into a five inning affair. Once you have Joba, then Hughes and Mariano, you can say the party is over.


Joe Girardi vs. Mike Scioscia

Girardi has made some bone headed moves this year, but can you argue with the best record in baseball, and a sweep of the Twins in the first round of the playoffs? Mike Scioscia is a proven winner, and has a world series under his belt.

Edge: Even. The players will decide this series.


Slight edge to the Yankees. These are the two best teams in the American League. They didn’t get to the ALCS by accident. You can just feel that it’s the Yankees’ year. They’ve been having come backs all year in the regular season, and in the playoffs, and learned how to win when they were down. If I had to guess, I would say the Yankees in a dramatic game seven, with pies in every one’s face.

Here’s to No. 27 with a win against the L.A. Dodgers in the World Series.


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