Yankees Shouldn’t Take It Easy On The Rays

Going into tonight’s action, the common assumptions seems to be that the Yankees are going to coast on into the playoffs. They have already clinched the division and home field advantage, and since they got most of their regular starters and bullpen arms work yesterday, they have little incentive to play their hardest on Wednesday night. Why work yourselves hard in a meaningless game? Why risk injuries to your players when you have nothing to play for?

But I’m not sure that the predominating narrative is correct in this case. Joe Girardi has already said that he’s planning on starting many of his regulars tonight — although who knows how long he’ll keep them in the game — and he seems to be practicing some “gamesmanship” by choosing not to announce his starter until closer to game time. Could it be that the Yankees are treating tonight’s game more seriously than many people are assuming?

If they are, I have to tip my cap to the Yanks for looking past their history with the Red Sox and realizing the larger fact: it’s in their own best interest if the Red Sox to make the playoffs.

That’s right, Yankees fans. As horrible as it may sound, you should probably be rooting for the Red Sox tonight.

I’m sure this thought has already crossed most people’s minds, as the Red Sox have been a walking (and fielding, and pitching, and hitting) disaster this past month. It’s in the Yankees’ best interests to have the weakest teams possible make the playoffs, as it would theoretically make their march toward the World Series even easier. And right now, what team wouldn’t like their odds against the Red Sox?

Of course, the case can be made that the club is still incredibly talented — they likely have a higher true-talent level than the Rays, although it’s a debatable point at the moment — and could easily get on a roll in the postseason. If it’s true that the Red Sox’s pitchers have been choking on the pressure (Nate Silver found some possible evidence yesterday), then maybe reaching the postseason would allow them to relax and go back to being a dominant team. Anything can happen in the playoffs, right?

But if I were the Yankees, I’d prefer the Red Sox to make the postseason for one simple reason: the Rays’ rotation. Take a look at this potential rotation:

*Note: Matt Moore’s numbers are from Triple-A, as he’s only pitched 9 innings in the majors.

The Rays have their rotation lined up perfectly at the moment so Shields could start Game 1 on the ALDS on regular rest, and Price could be moved ahead to Game 2 and only miss one day of rest (or start Game 3 on regular rest). And while Jeremy Hellickson is easily the weakest link of the bunch, it’s worth remembering that he was one of the top prospects in the game coming into the season and he has the potential to be dominating when on.

And as for Matt Moore, he’s the ultimate ace in the hole. The Rays could use him out of the bullpen like they did with David Price in 2008, but Moore is a much more complete and refined pitcher than Price was back then. He struck out 11 Yankees over five innings in his first major league start, and he’s only at around 160 IP on the season (144 IP last season). Considering Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann have both been inconsistent at best, Moore seems the natural fit for the #4 slot.

What team right now would want to face that rotation in a short series? Certainly not me. It has the potential to be the most dominant AL rotation in the postseason (although the Phillies and Giants have it beat in the NL), and the Rays’ bullpen has also been rounding into shape recently with a 3.47 ERA / 3.90 FIP over the last month. Kyle Farnsworth and Joel Peralta form a shutdown duo at the back of the ‘pen, and Jake McGee and Brandon Gomes have both begun to realize their potential.

While the Rays’ offense isn’t nearly as strong as Boston’s, their pitching staff is much, much stronger at the moment and is lined up well for the postseason. Even if the Red Sox made the playoffs, they’d have to scramble for Game One and wouldn’t be able to start Jon Lester until Game 3 at the earliest. Right now, they simply look like a weaker and less prepared playoff club than the Rays.

Pick your poison, Yankee fans. But if I were you, I’d think hard before rejoicing if the Red Sox miss the playoffs.




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Steve is the editor-in-chief of DRaysBay and the keeper of the FanGraphs Library. You can follow him on Twitter at @steveslow.

85 Responses to “Yankees Shouldn’t Take It Easy On The Rays”

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  1. Eric Dykstra says:

    If I’m the Yankees, I want the Red Sox and Rays to have a one-game playoff to make both weaker in the ALDS, so whichever team wins that game would have a worse chance of beating the Tigers.

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    • Erick says:

      Right now its likely that the WC team in the AL faces Texas. Det and NYY will “likely” face each other unless Texas loses to a rookie pitcher tonight…

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    • Red Sox Talk says:

      I agree. The Yankees should have a look at the scoreboard before deciding whether to win or lose tonight. The best outcome for them is if both Boston and Tampa have to play an extra game.

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    • bleedingyankeeblue says:

      A winner does not care whom they face. They accept the challenge gladly and with humility go about the business of vanquishing their opponent with the utmost class. We are the New York Yankees we fear no one.We fear the day we cannot compete.

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      • Bill says:

        ….as long as they don’t have to compete on a level playing field. I can think of 197 million reasons why the Yankees should run away with the title and only. 197 million vs. 41 million.

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  2. Joel says:

    “Pick your poison, Yankee fans. But if I were you, I’d think hard before rejoicing if the Red Sox miss the playoffs.”

    Screw you. We want to enjoy our delicious schadenfreude and will gladly take our chances against the Rays to do so.

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    • kyle says:

      Just sayin, the giants weren’t in the playoffs until the 163rd game last year, and look how that worked out. A team falling into the playoffs is much better than one surging into it

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      • Rex Manning Day says:

        The Giants won the NL West last year, and they did not play a tiebreaker to do it. It’s true that they didn’t clinch until the last game of the season, but they went 19-10 in September (plus 3 regular season games in Oct). They started the month 3 games behind San Diego and took the lead for good with 7 games left in the season.

        I guess it depends on how you define surging and falling into the playoffs, but coming from behind to win your division on the back of a .655 final month of the season sounds like surging to me.

        The last time a team had to play a tiebreaker and made it to the WS was 2007, when the Rockies won the WC in game 163 and lost to Boston in the WS. The last time a team had to play a tiebreaker and went on to win the WS was 1978, when the Yankees did it.

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      • Rex Manning Day says:

        Oh, and lest we forget, that ’78 Yankees team was also the one that was sitting 14.5 games behind Boston in July before making their run for the division, and who had a .718 record in their final month on their way to forcing that tiebreaker.

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      • Kyle says:

        My point was that the Giants were surging, and the rays may not be as hot they are still definitely hot and with the shit condition of the sox are a better bet for the WS than them in my book

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      • cs3 says:

        163rd game?
        uhhh what are you talkin about/

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      • Kyle says:

        I guess I communicated that wrong. I meant falling into it is better for the OTHER teams. and i meant 162nd my bad

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    • Black_Rose says:

      I agree with this thinking, even though I don’t like the Yankees or Red Sox.

      If you want the Red Sox to lose, then it is better for them to lose in Baltimore to ensure a play-off game if the Yankees win, or the elimination of Sox if the Yankees lose. Sometimes it is better to deprive the Sox the chance of being World Fucking Champions, than to increase the odds of having your team be World Fucking Champions.

      For the integrity of the game, I don’t want the Yankees to be a kingmaker where they intentionally throw a game to the Rays.

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  3. LorenzoStDuBios says:

    Real quick:

    Those awesome Fangraphs chats from last postseason…. can we have one of those tonight? 4 games 162 with seasons on the line, should be fun, no?

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  4. Jason says:

    As a Yankees fan, its still funnier if the Redsox miss the playoffs after being billed as the greatest team since the ’27 Yankees coming into the season. Especially after their historic collapse.

    And honestly, the Yankees probably match up better against the Rays. The weak Rays lineup will not tax the Yankees suspect pitching as much as the Sox. Also, the Yankees lineup is good enough to beat the good (but not dominating) pitching of the Rays.

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    • Jason says:

      I mean we were told the Redsox had five aces! The only question was how many games over 100 they would win.

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    • Justin Bailey says:

      Who billed the 2011 Sox as “the greatest team since the ’27 Yankees”?

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      • Welp says:

        Everyone. There was and is a vast right-coast conspiracy against the Yankees.

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      • Jason says:

        Obvious hyperbole aside, pretty much everyone picked the Sox to easily win the AL East, and many had them as WS favorites.

        I always thought it a funny prediction since they were returning the same team as last year but with Beltre and V-Mart substituted for A-Gon and Crawford. But the problem with them last year was not their hitting, the problem was their pitching. I couldn’t understand how the same pitching staff as last year was supposed to get so much better.

        Meanwhile, the narrative went that the Yankees were supposed to be the ones with pitching problems because Pettitte retired and they didn’t sign Cliff Lee. Well, the Yankees didn’t get much out of Pettitte last year because he was hurt a good chunk of the year and they also gave a ton of starts to Javier Vasquez who was dreadful. Despite these problems the Yankees still had better pitching than Boston last year. Were Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon really going to be any worse than Vasquez?

        ….of course, we now know that the Yankees went on to have a pretty decent year pitching, while Boston is in the trouble they are in because of their pitching. It’s not how the narrative went, but it was pretty predictable I think.

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      • Welp says:

        ^Their problem in 2010 was injuries to important position players. Their problem in 2011 was injuries to important pitchers. And also sucking tremendously in September, which is on all of them.

        The hype was excessive but not totally inappropriate given the relative strength of their squad compared to a mud-flung-at-wall rotation in their primary competition, New York.

        That’s why they play the games, though, as the two junkyard scraps that were Colon and Garcia put together unpredictably solid years and Ivan Nova played the part of Phil Hughes.

        Why everyone cares so much about the melodrama and things people said/say, I’ll never know. Shaddup and play ball.

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      • Jason says:

        I feel like you are repeating the false narrative, Welp. Yes Boston had injuries last year, but they still scored enough runs to win if not for their pitching. And why is the Yankees rotation “mud-flung-at-wall”, while the Sox rotation with Dice-K, Lackey, Wakefield and Beckett is any different. Both the Yankees and Sox had one sure bet (Sabbathia and Lester).

        Maybe you like the names better, but Lackey and Dice-K producing good seasons seemed about as likely as Garcia and Colon to me.

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      • Welp says:

        ^I don’t think we need to get into it, but for all their weaknesses every starter in the BOS rotation was an established commodity: Lackey off a 4 WAR season and even Matsuzaka, far from elite, was solid relative to his role (fifth starter).

        Meanwhile, you had the cream of the crop in CC, but then unrealized potential in Hughes, scrap parts and a rookie. Solid in other divisions with that offense, but suspect in the East.

        Put it this way: if BOS opens the season with Lester-Beckett-Lackey-Wakefield-Miller and NYY opens with magic knowledge that Colon and Garcia could pitch as they have, the narrative is completely different. But that’s all hindsight analysis that doesn’t, imo, prove the BOS optimism faulty.

        That’s how on-paper analysis always works, though. You never know until you know. But I think you can count Epstein and Cashman as surprised by how the season unfolded – the latter has already said as much.

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      • Welp says:

        ^^Looking forward to seeing more of Betances next year, BTW

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      • Nick44 says:

        Your only problem would be if your owners lost all their money in the stock market.

        I mean, you can talk about “on-paper” analysis, but isn’t the ultimate on-paper analysis done when you count your revenues each year and do your year end evaluations of baseball staff?

        If you have the best employees and the most money without a hard cap shouldn’t that make you the favorites irregardless of what historically non-reliable pundits predict every year?

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      • Welp says:

        ^I thought it was understood that “on-paper” meant “in advance”. Looks good on paper, but the results aren’t yet in. It wouldn’t make sense to use the phrase retrospectively to say, what, “we lost, but on paper we…didn’t lose?”

        I don’t know why you’re speaking as if it was only “pundits” that were talking-up Boston. Just about everyone recognized Boston was the team to beat in the AL East before the season began (that list includes Brian Cashman, fwiw).

        If you’re not impressed by any of that because of their payroll etc., that’s cool. Hard to argue with that. But we’re not wondering whether being the favorites was impressive, but whether it was appropriate to consider them the favorites in the first place.

        Anyway, what a fun night of baseball this has been. Great stuff.

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      • Jason says:

        Raf,

        That has to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Thanks for posting that.

        My favorite line was the one about Dice K being the greatest 5th starter in baseball history. Seriously?! …also the one about the Redsox having a better starting rotation than Philly. WTF?! ….so much good stuff!!!!

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  5. Neuter Your Dogma says:

    But but but…you are ignoring FG Power Rankings! Boston – 2; Tampa – 9.

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  6. Adam says:

    Could make a strong case that the Giants pitching rotation not a real threat in the 2011 playoffs.

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  7. LorenzoStDuBios says:

    2 objections:

    1) Any advantage by trying to micromanage who gets into the playoffs that they may face in a later round must be trumped by the all-important goal of having your team 100% ready for Friday. It’s just that simple.

    2) This article assumes the only goal of the Yankee organization is to maximize their chance of a WS, maybe from say an 18% chance to an 18.5% chance. However, both emotional and media-based reasons within the organization will point to benefits from their arch-rival, which humiliated them 7 years ago, choking in equally humiliating fashion.

    3) Also, since NYY won’t face either team in the first round, the likelihood at this point of Boston, in total pitching chaos, dropping 3 easy games to DET or TEX, leaving the latter rested for the ALCS, is higher. This is as much a factor as the ones you bring up here.

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    • Welp says:

      To each his own, but people who prioritize the failure of other teams rather than the success of their own really weird me out. I’d enjoy baseball a lot more if there were a lot less fans like that.

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    • vivalajeter says:

      I agree with both of your primary objections, and I was going to post the same thing (although I wasn’t going to throw in a ‘bonus’ objection).

      Being fresh for the playoffs is the #1 goal. Humiliating your #1 rival is the #2 goal. Everything beyond that is significantly less important.

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    • Nick44 says:

      When things are “just that simple” I like to see high correlations.

      *looking around*

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  8. Ben says:

    It doesn’t matter which of the two teams make it. As Fangraphs have established time and time again, the playoffs are mostly a crapshoot. Get there healthy with all players ready to go, and the rotation set. Don’t worry about what other teams do. This series with the Rays has been absolutely meaningless for the Yankees, and tonight’s game is meaningless. Play starters to keep them fresh if necessary, but winning or losing does not matter one iota. Regular season has ended for all but the Braves/Cards/Red Sox/Rays.

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  9. The Fallen Phoenix says:

    Thing is, this only becomes relevant in the ALCS, and only if both the Yankees and Rays/Red Sox get past the Rangers and Tigers.

    It could all end up quite academic, then, given there’s no guarantee the Yankees will have the chance to (let alone actually) face either the Rays or the Red Sox in the ALCS.

    That said, the Yankees do seem to match up pretty well against every AL team in the postseason, but appear more vulnerable against the Red Sox and Rays: the Yankee lineup is ideally constructed with a platoon-advantage against Texas’ lefty-leaning rotation (while both teams’ bullpens and lineups are otherwise a wash); New York neutralizes Detroit’s advantage (Verlander) with a near-equal pitcher in Sabathia, who has a better lineup to boot; although New York edges Tampa in lineup and bullpen, its rotation is much weaker (and lacks the platoon advantage the Yankees enjoy against the Rangers’); the Red Sox match the Yankees strength-for-strength and weakness-for-weakness (top-heavy rotations, equally strong lineups, strong bullpens).

    Ultimately, though, Yankees still have the best run-differential in all of baseball, and have survived the AL East gauntlet, so they probably like their chances against anyone in the postseason.

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  10. Rey22 says:

    I find this article weird considering how many times I’ve read the “There is little evidence that September records have any impact on a team’s playoff performance” line on Fangraphs.

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    • JM says:

      It feels like Fangraphs writers are trying to counteract the overwhelming support for knocking the Red Sox out of playoffs coming from everyone in the country not from Boston or ESPN.

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    • Oh, but of course. The record has little to do with it, but a stronger team will still win more often in a short series than a weaker team…it’s a crapshoot, but team strength still influences the results to some degree obviously.

      And there are all sorts of ways you can analyze this….if you want to look at who matches up better against the Yanks, I still think the Yanks might want to face the Rays instead of the Sox. Their staff has shut down the Yanks a lot over this season, and considering the cold weather starts to come into play, I think I’d rather take my chances against a weaker pitching staff.

      But that’s obviously debatable. My point is simply that the Rays are set up really well for the postseason…I can understand the emotional reasons for wanting Boston to fail — believe me, I feel that way too — but it comes off as undervaluing the Rays as well.

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      • PiratesHurdles says:

        But Steve the Yankees won’t face either team and who knows how the rotations will be set for the ALCS if either team would advance. Its not the Rays vs. the Sox, its the Rays vs the Sox vs Texas. Wouldn’t they rather have TB make it and have a potentially better shot at beating Texas for them?

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  11. Tom B says:

    To me it’s not aboutplaying the Red Sox or the Rays.

    It’s about not having to play in Fenway.

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  12. J says:

    First off, the Rays comeback has nothing to do with them being hot, or on a win streak. They are like 14-10 this month. They are in the race due to the Red Sox sucking in September, however, September performance has no bearing on the postseason. So this ‘collapse’ should not weigh into Yankee fans minds.

    Second, I have both teams as equal. Boston still has Beckett and Lester, who bad month aside are just as good as Price and Shields. They lose a little in rotation depth, but their offense and bullpen are significantly better than Tampa. All in all they are an equal team, and you could make the case for them being better.

    So if I was a Yankee fan, it wouldn’t matter to me who got in. And due to the rivalry, I’d probably be rooting Rays. And it seems like they may be getting their wish with Girardi starting the untested rookie.

    In reality, I hate the Red Sox as much as the Yankees, as they are essentially the same team. So I’m rooting Rays.

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    • Erm, the Rays have been 16-10 this month (essentially a 100-win season pace). And they’ve done that primarily against the Yankees (7 games), Red Sox (7 games), and Rangers (4 games).

      But I largely agree…I have both teams as around equal talent levels as well. Like I said, pick your poison…there’s certainly no perfect answer.

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      • Welp says:

        There’s a ~12 WAR difference between them in 2011. The back-ends of rotations and bullpens disappear in the playoffs; it’s 1-2-3 (sometimes a 4), 3 or 4 bullpen arms and the lineups.

        Lineup: BOS by a mile
        Bullpen: BOS by a kilometer
        1-2-3: Rays by a yard

        I like the Rays better than I like the Red Sox for many reasons, but I don’t know why they should be considered equals in terms of talent.

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      • joe says:

        Bos Lineup takes a hit without Youk. Rays offense isn’t terrible.

        You are also forgetting Rays defense is vastly superior.

        Boston Bullpen is not better than Rays bullpen. It’s a case of hitting vs pitching and defense.

        Crawford, J Salt, Aviles, Scutaro – It’s not infallable.

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      • Welp says:

        ^ – I dunno why I left out defense, but good point. The Rays have an edge there.

        - Boston’s lineup is worse without Youkilis, but still significantly better than the Rays’. Significantly.

        - What are you basing that bullpen evaluation on? Recency bias? Boston has two relief aces, a passable lefty, and Alfredo Aceves (don’t know how to classify him). Tampa has … Kyle Farnsworth and Joel Peralta?

        - What does ‘infallibility’ have to do with anything? Ellsbury-Pedroia-Gonzalez-Ortiz-Scutaro-Crawford-Catcher-Reddick-Lowrie is just massively better than what the Rays send to the plate every night.

        Again, I like the Rays better. But people are putting way too much into a recent streak. The talent-level question is decidedly in Boston’s favor.

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  13. ecp says:

    Dellin Betances is going to make the start.

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  14. Dave says:

    The Giants rotation will be unhittable this post-season.

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  15. tim says:

    The Rays and Red Sox are both potentially good and if you’re going to win a championship, you have to beat everybody. As a Yankee fan, though, I’m glad the Angels are out. Weaver, Haren and Santana in a short series could be tough.

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  16. Mr. Verlander says:

    Guys, guys, articles like this don’t matter.

    Eventually these teams will face the Tigers, and all of this will be null and void once me and Fisty TCOB.

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  17. Steve says:

    yeah, I think the Yankees are probably more worried about seeing Verlander twice in 5 games than who they might play in the ALCS, with home field advantage.

    The way I see it, the Rays are pretty likely to win tonight, forcing at least a 1 game playoff. If they play game 163, the Sox would have who start that game? Lackey? The Easter Bunny? By having to use Lester tonight on short rest, he’s already out until game 3 of the ALDS, and Beckett would either pitch on short rest in game 1 or pitch game 2.

    The Sox are already pretty handicapped, and the Rangers should make short work of them.

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    • Welp says:

      The Yankees have handled Verlander just fine this year. As long as he’s matched up with CC, it’s no nightmare. The bigger problem for them the lack of depth behind Sabathia. That bullpen is going to be very busy.

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      • Kramerica Industries says:

        This is short-sighted.

        The Yankees beat Verlander once on Opening Day, and the other time they won a Verlander-started game in early May.

        There’s basically no predicative value as far as how the Yankees would fare against Verlander come Friday night.

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      • Welp says:

        ^That’s not what short-sighted means.

        There’s predictive value in it to the extent that we might be inclined to forecast Verlander shutting down that offense. We should be second-guessing that kind of thing.

        Verlander’s been dominating the AL Central and AL West all year, but that’s not the best practice. He’s pitched well against the Jays and Sox (3 total starts), but not so well at all against the Yanks, Orioles, and Rays (6 starts). He’s faced the Rangers once.

        There’s no argument here that Verlander is anything less than excellent. But he doesn’t spell doom for the Yankees either (and I certainly don’t root for them).

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    • The Fallen Phoenix says:

      I think the Tigers are more afraid to see Sabathia twice in five games, Soriano/Robertson/Rivera in the late innings, and ALSO having to deal with the Yankees lineup 1-9 every game, too.

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    • Andre says:

      Sure, his ERA is high, and it sometimes seems like he gives up too many goose eggs each start, but the Easter Bunny has pitched extremely well this year. His FIP is great.

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  18. Joeiq says:

    I’d hesitate to bench niemann. Although I agree that Moore should start too. Obviously Price and Shields.

    Niemann has been a hoss since coming back form injury, much improved periphs, especially ground ball rate.

    As much as I love Fellow Iowan Hellickson, I’d keep him out of the rotation. I don’t think he’s better than Niemann and he’s in the limited IP stages of his career.

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  19. PatsNats28 says:

    I’d be quite shocked if the Giants gave up a single run this whole postseason.

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  20. Jross says:

    What about the financial benefits for the following season after making the playoffs? If I am the Yankees, I don’t want to give Andrew Friedman anymore money to play with.

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    • TK says:

      this is a good point. Rays would benefitly vastly more than Red Sox from making playoffs. How much more can a team like the Red Sox make? This is actually a good question about the value of making the playoffs.

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  21. Omar says:

    Disagree, the Rays are a good team, yes this is true…however the Red Sox have four batters that can absolutely take over a game. Pedroia, Ortiz, Gonzalez, and Ellsbury? Yikes. I don’t want the Red Sox to get in and some of their underperforming players to get going. Carl Crawford is easily capable of a “70 Million Dollar Grand Slam” type moment. Besides, both teams have plenty of mean reversion to do, I’d rather face the hot team who’s due to slow down than the cold team that’s due to turn it around.

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  22. Kramerica Industries says:

    Steve, your rest days are all off.

    Shields pitched on Monday. Pitching on Friday would be three days rest.

    Price pitches tonight. There is no chance in hell he would be able to pitch Game 2, on Saturday, unless I was given no notice that we are back in the 1920′s.

    I think very well of the Rays and what they have done of late, but the Red Sox 12-6 record against the Yankees, in addition to their ridiculously hot stretch of play in the middle of the season, leaves me certain they are still a more formidable playoff threat, in the off-chance the Yankees and Red Sox even met in the ALCS.

    The fact that there’s the rivalry aspect of this only makes most of us want to see the collapse see itself through to the end.

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  23. Jose says:

    As a Yankee fan, I think I’ll enjoy the playoffs a lot more if the Red Sox are out of it, even if the Rays beat us at the ALDS, hell, I may even root for the Rays if the WS if that happens.

    Besides, winning the world series AND Boston not even being on the playoffs is perfect
    Winning the WS with Boston on the playoffs is great
    Not winning the WS with Boston NOT on the playoffs is acceptable
    Not winning the WS, with Boston winning or advancing more than us is terrible.

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    • Jason says:

      Of course, the ultimate is winning the world series and beating Boston along the way.

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      • Jason says:

        and the worst case scenario is Boston winning the World Series and knocking the Yankees out along the way.

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      • Welp says:

        “Of course, the ultimate is winning the world series and beating Boston along the way.”

        Love to see more of this POV. The “I want the other top team to go 0-162″ attitude is so tiresome. The teams ought to be rivals because they are competitors, not because of some off-the-field ESPN dramatics.

        Let’s have some good baseball.

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  24. MattM says:

    I’m watching PTI and both of these clowns are calling Dellin Betances a no name rookie and kornheiser pretty much is saying he’s never gonna make anything of his career because he walked 4 guys in his first appearance LOL how do these buffoons have work?

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  25. jim says:

    if boston doesn’t make the playoffs after handing out two $100 million contracts, that will be well worth the potential of losing.

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  26. Disco says:

    I’d so much rather face TB’s lineup than Boston’s with our SP outside CC. Plus, it’s not like Lester and Beckett are something to sneeze at.

    Besides, I think the Yankees will hit Price/Shields better than Lester/Beckett anyway.

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  27. Black_Rose says:

    WTF, the Yankees did play Soriano or Rivera, instead, they had Procter pitch to Longoria.

    It seemed like the Yankees were trying to maximize the chances of the Rays beating them by holding back their best relivers, without overtly telling their hitters to choke at the plate or their fielders to make errors on the field.

    Maybe the Yankees would play Rivera after the 12th inning since the Sox already lost, and they can actually try to win since the Rays used Farnsie, and force a one game playoff between the Rays and Sox. The Yanks were kingmakers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason says:

      Rivera was resting for the playoffs. No chance he was pitching last night in a meaningless game to the Yankees. He wasn’t scheduled to pitch. Everyone who pitched last night was either scheduled to, or not on the playoff roster.

      Proctor was out there until the game was over.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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