Another baseball season is gone. The grind of 162 games with 30 teams playing each other in two leagues has come down to this moment. Out of those teams eight survive to play a possible extra month.
Only one will come up the winner, and the best for a year. Here is a preview of the American League playoffs for 2010 Major League Baseball.
Yankees vs. Twins- Postseason No. 49 for the Bronx Bombers and another run at a championship begins. With essentially the same team as last year’s champion, the Yankees may seem poised to grab banner number 28. Not so fast! They have to go through the Twins again just like last year.
There are three reasons the Twins have a great chance at taking this series from the Yankees:
1. they have great hitters. Joe Mauer, Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome are proven hitters, who can drive the ball anywhere, anytime. These are all players, who have hit over 90 runs-batted-in (RBI) at some point in their careers and have had 20-homer seasons.
2. They have a great closer in Matt Capps. This ex-National has over 109 career saves since 2007; this proves he has more than needed to close games.
3. Four of their starting pitchers have 10 wins or more. This will prove critical, as New York has been having rotation problems for a while.
The Yankees will be dethroned. The fact that ace CC Sabathia is struggling to find his form and not having any other reliable starter beside veteran Andy Pettite. The new playoff schedule, which has less days off than last year’s, won’t allow the Yankees to get by on three starters. Without the pitching, the Yankees will run out of power at some point with their very potent lineup.
Twins take it in five.
Rays vs. Rangers- The Texas Rangers made the playoffs? Am I reading this correctly? Better believe it guys. The Rangers are in the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
The Rays have won their second American League East division title in three years, beating out the Yankees in the final day of the season. The Rays have it all: they have the pitching, the hitting and the managing necessary to make a deep playoff run.
The rotation of David Price, James Shields, Matt Garza and Wade Davis is one of the youngest and most talented in the majors. Other than pitching, the Rays can hit exceptionally well; they have the best run-scoring percentage in the majors at 34 percent, meaning that 34 percent of base runners score.
The Rangers have a lot of great pieces with former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee leading the rotation and Vladimir Guerrero leading the bats in a rejuvenating year.
Lee has an ERA of four and a half this year against the Rays and that’s not going to help when the best pitcher has been inefficient against the playoff foe.
Rays take it in four.