The defending champs are back, but the road to the Worlds Series takes a different turn this time around.
After taking the A-L East race down to the wire, the New York Yankees return to defend their crown. This year they come in as the wild card, not the division champ. Tampa Bay gets that role, as the jumped over the Bronx Bombers and clinched on the last day.
That leaves the Yanks starting the postseason Wednesday on the road against A-L Central champ Minnesota Twins in the ALDS.
Here are you mound match-ups:
Game 1: CC Sabathia vs Francisco Liriano
Game 2: Andy Pettitte vs Carl Pavano
Game 3: Brian Duensing vs Phil Hughes
Game 4: TBA *if necessary
Game 5: TBA *if necessary
The Twins have had problems solving the Yanks in the postseason, including getting swept in the first round last year. This year the series starts at brand new and very nice Target Field in Minneapolis, where the Twins are strong. What isn’t good for the Twins is one of the big boppers, Justin Morneau, is out for at least the first round while he recovers from concussion symptoms. They still do have Joe Mauer, one of the best in the game.
The Yankees are the Yankees. Their lineup is the most dangerous in baseball and they continue to bash the ball all over the park. From Derek Jeter to Alex Rodriguez to Robinson Cano, the 1 through 9 hitters can hurt you at any moment. The pitching may be the question mark. They match up well in a 3-game series, but past that it’s a guessing game. Add to the fact that AJ Burnett has struggled so badly that he isn’t even in the rotation.
My pick to click: I’ll take the Yankees in 5. They have been in this situation before.
Written by C. James