First let me start by stating this article is based on if the New York Yankees make the postseason, because until that last out anything can happen, including elimination.
Yet there is no denying that the Yankees looked solid last night, cooling down the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 and winning the opening game of this four game set. Rookie phenom Ivan Nova pitched 7.2 scoreless innings, as this kid is the real deal and seems to get better with every start. The Youngster’s timing couldn’t be more perfect either.
The Yankees still have a three game visit from the literally bitter Boston Red Sox’s over the weekend, before heading down to Tropicana Field to end the season.
So, things don’t get much easier for the three amigos in the AL East. The bottom line is at the very least one of these three teams are a postseason goner; with the possibility of two still looming.
Well, it never hurts to look ahead, so let’s play make-believe…. and pretend the Yankees have already won a coveted spot in the playoffs.
Who would the Yankees feasible foes be in the fatal, five-game series (aka. first-round of the MLB playoffs)?
As the Wild Card team, the Yankees would not have home-field advantage and Game One would take place in Comerica Park against the Detroit Tigers.
- Playing away doesn’t worry me, but facing the formidable Detroit ace Justin Verlander twice in five games would give anyone nightmares. Verlander is without question going to be the 2011 AL CY Young winner and he is just lights out.
- Tigers have a strong bullpen, with a closer named Jose Valverde who has yet to blow a save this season.
- All five Detroit starters are righties, which gives the hard-hitting Yankees a huge advantage being so leftie dominant.
- The last time these two clubs played was back on May 5th and the Tigers won four of the last seven vs. New York. The Tigers have also out hit the Bombers 36-33.
- Tiger’s top slugger is Miguel Cabrera, who in my opinion is the best hitter in baseball.
As the AL East Division winners, the Yankees would play host for the Texas Rangers, as Game One would be in the Bronx.
- The Rangers rotation is a mix of righties and lefties but other than CJ Wilson have had spotty outings against the Yankees. Starter Colby Lewis will have to come up big for Texas, but whether Matt Harrison can hold it together is another story.
- The Yankees are 7-2 vs. the Rangers this season, while outscoring Texas 65-35.
- Revenge has just cause for the Yankees to want to win this series, as New York was not happy after losing to Texas in the 2010 ALCS. It was an embarrassment.
If the world were perfect, the Yankees would be hosting the Rangers to start the playoffs because the Tigers are really hot and just oozing confidence that no team wants a piece of in a five-game series.
Well, getting back to reality and the Yankees still need to qualify for the playoffs or else the third option will start being discussed.
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