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Sunday September 26, 2010 11:23 pm

Yankees and Rays playing for postseason matchups?




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: MLB, Playoffs,

Cliff LeeThe Rays are currently holding tough onto the AL East title while the Yankees keep pace with them in the Wild Card position. Yeah, technically Boston can still make the postseason, but let’s face reality; we know who the American League playoff teams will be. Minnesota has already clinched the Central and the Rangers have taken the West with relative ease. All that remains to be decided; with a week of baseball left; is who will play whom.

Neither the Yankees nor the Rays have played spectacular baseball in the last week or so; at least not the kind of ball we’ve seen from them all year. But don’t be quick to think either team is limping into the playoffs. The team that finishes on top in their division will face the Rangers, who have the worst record of the four teams. The Wild Card winners will draw the Twins in the Divisional Series.

It might be that the teams from the East actually want to play Minnesota because, while the Twins have a better record than Texas, they don’t have Cliff Lee. In a best-of-five series, Cliff Lee will throw twice, and those will be two very difficult games to win. Just look at what Lee did for the Phillies in the 2009 playoffs. Yes, New York has Sabathia and the Rays have Price, but both teams would probably rather have their aces chew up the opposing hitters without watching their own guys going through a similar storm.

Neither has been competing with anybody other than each other for weeks now, so there hasn’t been much incentive to play too hard and risk injury. It’s like a competition where no matter who comes in first, everybody wins. Yes, the winner gets a divisional championship banner, but do they want to risk that against a World Series trophy? Surely nobody wants to see either the Yankees or the Rays fall in the first round. After the showdowns we saw between these two clubs recently, imagine the level of competition when the season is actually on the line.

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