Which Teams Should the Yankees Be Rooting For?
It is obvious that the first goal for the Yankees is to lock up the AL East. The Yankees need to avoid that one game playoff at all costs because anything can happen in that game. Also, even if they were to win that game their rotation would be messed up going into the ALDS. It is pretty safe to assume that the Yankees will at least be playing in the wild card game, as it would take an epic collapse with an easy schedule for them to miss the playoffs completely. So, there are a lot of races in the other divisions that have a big impact on the Yankees having a successful playoff run.
In my opinion, there are two teams that the Yankees really do not want to see get into the playoffs. They’re the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Those two teams have given the Yankees issues in the past and are both loaded with talent. They have both underachieved this year, but are both much more scary than the White Sox, Orioles or A’s. The A’s, Orioles and White Sox are nice stories this year, but they really do not have the Yankees shaking in a potential playoff series.
Right now, Chicago is one game ahead of Detroit and the Orioles and A’s are two games ahead of the Angels. The Rays are only three games out, but it is a long shot now that they get in. Those races are huge for the Yankees as well as their own race. Their chances of making the World Series in a bracket that includes the Rangers, White Sox, and the A’s or Orioles are much higher than if the Tigers or Angels get in the playoffs. Detroit has three players in Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder that can carry a team in a short series. They also finally have a legit #2 starter in Max Scherzer to go along with Verlander. Their defense is their issue, but the Yankees don’t really have the speed to make that a big deal. The Angels still have great starting pitchers in Jered Weaver, Zach Greinke, CJ Wilson, and Dan Haren to go along with hitters like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo. That is a lot of firepower. The A’s, Orioles and White Sox just don’t have that kind of talent and experience.
What do you guys think? Where do the Yankees stack up with the rest of the AL teams and which teams would you prefer to see in the playoffs?