The Empire is striking back! After demolishing the Indians in the AL WC Round in a 2-game sweep, the Yanks will face the “best team in the AL,” The Tampa Bay Rays. These two teams both come from the AL East; as many know, these two clubs hate each other with passion. The reason behind it is, getting hit by pitches. It all goes back to last year when the Yankees played the Rays, and their players got hit by pitches. So this year, it continued, and Aroldis Chapman wasn’t having it. He threw a 101 MPH fastball at Mike Brosseau’s head then struck him out to get the save. Thankfully, no one was injured, but this sparked a hatred against the clubs. Rays manager Kevin Cash, in the postgame conference, said, “I have a whole damn stable of guys who throw 98 MPH. Period.” Was it me, or did that sound like a threat? After that, Cash and Boone were suspended for a game, and Chapman was suspended for three games but appealed it and will have his hearing next year. Now, here we are with this enticing ALDS series, Yankees versus Rays. It feels like an ALCS matchup, but due to seeding, it’s an ALDS matchup, first to 3. Let’s break this down:
Game One Preview (Cole v. Snell):
Yankee’ Ace, Gerrit Cole will take the mound in game one and look to have another dominant postseason performance as he did in game one of the AL WC. As I’ve said plenty of times, he’s the tone-setter, and if he has a dominant game, this will be a good series for the Yankees. He can pitch a possible game five if Boone allows him to. The Bronx Bombers will face LHP Blake Snell on offense. Now, Snell is a former Cy Young winner, and his dominant AL WC game one performance shows why. This guy is lethal, but he’s going against a bunch of righties. We have a chance here, and this offense is so good. He is still coming off that surgery, so Cash will take him out if he runs into trouble early. We have an outstanding lineup. They need to bat as good as expected.
Right now, the game two starter is in the air for the Yankees. They don’t know who to start, my guess would’ve been Tanaka, but we’ll see. I would love to see Deivi Garcia in game three over J.A. Happ. If they don’t play Deivi, then he should be in the bullpen and see what you have in him. Maybe he can be like a Mariano Rivera type player and the eventual successor to Chapman’s closer role. They shouldn’t waste time with the kid; he’s got lots of talent. They need to let him express it and show everybody. The spotlight doesn’t get to him, and that’s great because that means he’s locked in at all times.
My worry with this team is the way it’s ran. We have great batters and good pitchers. However, Boone makes his decisions on what the computer says to do. He’s very analytical, and that’s not very good in the postseason. It’s better to use your eyes and follow what you have right in front of you. Instead of pinch-running Wade for the home run champ, Luke Voit, in the 7th inning with only a two-run lead, could you keep him in?
Another example is Gardner starting in game two; he shouldn’t have started. Maybe he was on a streak, but Frazier has not had the opportunity, and he can be twice as good as Gardner. This team is just ran too analytically. Hopefully, it works, but it usually didn’t besides the Red Sox in 2018, but it seems like they cheated, so it doesn’t work. The Rays are playing the way that the Yankees used to playback in their glory days. They are taking all aspects of the game and incorporating it into their strategies. They are hitting and running, bunting, getting walks, and playing BASEBALL! We have the better lineup, though, and I expect a Yankee victory.
How to Watch:
Me (@jd_5BD on twitter): Yanks 3-1
Marcin (@G0LDEK16 on twitter): Yanks 3-2
Matt (@MeloWRLD7 on twitter): Yanks 3-2
Wens (@5BDwens on twitter): Yanks 3-0
Julian (@BLMKuz on twitter): Yanks 3-2
Thanks for reading. This has been Jose Calderon III with FiveBoroughDispatch. Have a great day, everybody!