New York heads to Minnesota to begin ALDS play on Wednesday as the AL East’s wild card selection, despite having the second best record in the league. Such is the structure of MLB playoffs these days.
Chaos and rumors have already ensued about the three-man rotation Joe Girardi has announced, but one thing is for sure – CC Sabathia is the Yankees’ number one starter. He’ll get the ball against Francisco Liriano to kick things off. After that Andy Pettitte resumes his solid role as Game 2 starter extraordinaire against Carl (Isn’t it ironic?) Pavano, who has actually proved himself to be a pretty good pitcher when he’s not wearing the pinstripes. Phil Hughes gets his first post-season starting assignment against Brian Duensing and if necessary, Game 4 features Nate Blackburn for the Twinkies. This three man rotation leaves the Yankees a few letters short, mainly an A and J, of their regular season routine.
Burnett will be relegated to the bullpen, which might not be such a bad place for him to be right now. He has a 1.54 ERA against the Twins this year but he had an atrocious closing to the regular season. Additionally I’m sure that Yankees fans would much rather see him come out of the pen than Javi Vazquez.
Let’s put it this way, with the three man rotation and shakiness in the bullpen, the Yankees’ success (or failure) rests squarely on the arm of Mariano Rivera. If Mo is on, they will be golden.
The Twins are a very good team (even with Justin Morneau sitting out the post-season) with an excellent manager in Ron Gardenhire, but it wasn’t coincidence that the Yankees and Rays sported the best records in baseball this year.
Yankees beat the Twins in 4
Rays beat the Rangers in 5
Yankees beat the Rays in 6, but it will be a knock-down drag out fight
Whichever team comes out of the American League will win the World Series. Period.
Bonus NL Picks
Phillies beat the Reds in 3
Giants beat the Braves in 4
Giants beat the Phillies in 6
Yankees beat the Giants in 6
About the Author
Written by Stephanie Geosits