Friday, September 24, 2010
Down to the Wire for Yankees/Rays
So the big four game series between the two AL East powerhouses turned into a wash as the split the series right down the middle and gave everyone absolutely no idea which team really is in the better position.
Unless someone totally collapses, both the Yankees and the Rays are making the playoffs… that much is fairly certain. Of course the question is at this point, which team would you rather face in the first round? The Twins, who have quietly surmassed the best record in the American League from August 1st on (and without their slugging 1st baseman Juston Mourneu) or the slugging Rangers (who will throw the nasty duo of Cliff Lee and CJ Wilson in a short 5 game series)? Of course, the winner of the AL East will have home field advantage for at least the first round, while the wild card winner will not have any and that fact alone maybe play a part in where you might want to see a team finish.
In any case, the Yankees looked really good in the first two games of this series… and then the Rays looked really good in the 2nd two games. Neither got an advantage over the other and neither really looked like they were about to burst ahead.
The Rays have the advantage now for two reasons:
1 – The two teams are tied in the loss column. Having the extra game in hand gives the Rays an advantage because the won the season series.
2 – The Yankees have nine games left. Six games against Boston (3 in NY this week and 3 in Boston to end the season) and three games against Toronto. The Rays have ten games left. Six at home against Seattle and Baltimore and four on the road in Kansas City. You KNOW that Boston will be looking to mess up the Yankees as much as possible and as much improved the Orioles are with Buck Showalter at the helm, the Mariners and Royals aren’t likely to put up much of a fight against Tampa Bay.
That doesn’t the Rays are a shoo-in to win the Division, but it does look good for them.
Likely, the Yankees will start to rest players (Mark Teixeria is hurting big time and needs some down time) and set up the rotation for the first round, so likely, those last four or five games will see a lot of youngsters and bench players getting time.