Recently I wrote an article warning that the Yankees couldn’t hit lefties, and that doesn’t bode well for the playoffs. Well, as the LoHud Blog recently wrote: The Yankees have now lost the past 8 games against left-handed starters.” Ooof.
So what does this mean? It means should grab the Wild Card spot and play the Twins rather than the Rangers.
Why? Because the Rangers would surely start Cliff Lee (who simply owns the Yankees), and C.J. Wilson, both lefties.
Consider this: Against lefties starters this year, the Yankees batted .258 with a .768 OPS. Against righty starters, it’s .273 BA and a .798 OPS.
Even more damning. In those last 8 losses against lefties, the combined lefty ERA was 2.99. In those losses, the Yankees batted .203.
Now it is true that Yankees did well against Wilson this year, but really, would you rather face Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker? Or face a couple of quality lefties that more than likely, you will face twice in the 5 game stretch. Plus Darren Oliver from the pen, who, against the Yankees this year, threw up a goosegg in 4.2 IP?
Of course, there is home field advantage to consider. And it is a very salient point. But I would take my chances facing the Twins in Minneapolis rather than the Rangers in the Bronx. And should the Yankees get to the second round, their record against Tampa at home and away is both 4-5, so that’s a wash.
Mike Silva made a case for the Wild Card spot. And I totally agree with his point. My point, if I could add to his argument is this: In a short series, the Yankees have shown that the safer road is the one without 2 quality lefties. So, if the Yankees grab the Wild Card, the Yankee Universe should thank their lucky stars.