October 2, 2012

Who do the Yankees want to face in the playoffs?

After the 160th game of the regular season, we now know the four five American League teams headed for the playoffs. But we have no idea who's playing whom. Yet.

If searching for exciting sports betting information (sponsored), the playoffs are on the horizon and predicting the outcomes could be fun. But first, the matchups need to get settled in these last two games. Here are the competitors:


If the playoffs ended today (before tonight's action), the A's and O's would play in the wild card game and the Yankees would play the winner. That would leave the Rangers and Tigers for the other ALDS matchup.

Judging by the season's head-to-head matchups, the Yankees would prefer to face the Tigers. But there's a little more to it, I think.

Because the AL East and AL West races are so close right now, just about any ALDS matchup can happen.


Looking a little deeper, it seems the Yankees would rather face the Rangers, who have the worst record in September (15-14) among the playoff teams. The Yankees were 4-3 against them this season, outscoring them 30-27. They lost two out of three at Texas in April and won three of four in New York in August.

The Tigers have the second-worst record in September (17-12) among playoff teams and the Yankees have the best run differential against them (+10) than any of the other teams. But the Tigers have one of the -- if not the most -- scariest playoff rotations in the league: Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64 ERA), Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.82) and Doug Fister (10-9, 3.38), all of whom are pitching well lately. And let's not forget Miguel Cabrera, also known as Mr. Triple Crown.

The Yankees split the season series with the A's but had a +9 run differential. They are 18-11 in September and making a run at the Rangers for the division title. The A's have a great, young pitching staff (as usual) and finally found a bat in AL ROY candidate Yoenis Cespedes.

This is the scariest playoff team in the American League, including the Yankees. The Orioles had finished last in the division for the previous four seasons. Now, there's a chance they'll wind up with the league's best record. Via SI's Cliff Corcoran: "The Orioles' record in one-run games, which improved to 28-9 (.757) on Saturday night, is the best in major league history and their 16-2 (.889) record in extra-inning games includes a streak of 16 straight victories." Also, the Orioles are the only playoff team leading the Yankees in run differential (+2), and have the best record in September (19-10) among playoff teams. 

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