02 September 2012

Are the Yankees in danger of blowing a playoff spot?

On July 18, the New York Yankees led the American League East by ten games over the Baltimore Orioles and sat at 57-34. It is the second of September and New York is leading the division by two games over Baltimore after losing today 8-3 at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks are only 3.5 clear of missing the playoffs, with the way they are trending, are they in real danger of missing the postseason for the first time since the old Yankee Stadium closed?
It was a little less than a year ago that I speculated whether or not the Red Sox could be caught by the Tampa Bay Rays. We all know how that turned out. Now while if the Yankees ended up missing the postseason, while it would not be as historic as last year's Boston collapse was, it will surely sting.

While the Orioles were tremendous in August, 18-9 for the month, the Yankees were pretty middling, going 15-13. Of course the Yankees have been without Alex Rodriguez for over a month, but he does come back tomorrow, and both Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson have each missed some time as well but the team has been pretty inconsistent of late. The pitching has looked somewhat shaky, including CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda who have both had a poor couple of starts recently. And with Baltimore having a strong August and Tampa Bay and their excellent pitching staff plus the return of Evan Longoria still on New York's heels, plus the Tigers and the Angels are also hanging around and both teams have a lot of talent and can turn it on, the Yankees better not relax.

But here is where it looks better for the Bombers. All of six of their remaining games are in division so the race will remain tight plus they also have the opportunity to maybe stretch out their lead if they get hot. Plus once their lineup comes back completely healthy, they should improve. And while you cannot expect the Orioles to fall off, it is interesting to note that they have had great luck in one run games and have been outscored on the season. Just something to note.

Do I expect the Yankees to miss the postseason? I do not, quite frankly, but you cannot deny that it is getting a little hairy in the division and in the playoff picture.

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