Series Preview | Yankees vs. Angels III: Big-time pitching at The Big A

Heh, remember this? (Antonelli/News)

I often wonder how the schedule-makers determine the number of games the Yankees play against non-AL East teams. I’m sure it’s inherently random, but I’m not crazy about the fact that, for example, the Yankees will have played nine games apiece against each of the teams in the AL West this season while only getting Kansas City six times.

I’ve gone on record several times regarding my desire to obliterate the inherently annoying unbalanced schedule and go back to getting to play every team an even number of times. My dream proposal entails abolishing the divisions and reverting to simply the American League and National League, with 15 teams each — the Astros would move to the AL to create a natural rivalry with the Rangers. Yes, I know this would result in an Interleague game every night, but at this point who cares? Under this proposal, every team in baseball would play every other team — AL and NL included — six times each, three games at home and three on the road, which would require MLB to expand the regular season from 162 games to 174.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees vs. Tigers: 2011 Opening Series Preview

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The New York Yankees kick off their 2011 season against the Detroit Tigers this afternoon in the Bronx at 1pm.

Mike previewed the Tigers back at the beginning of March, ultimately concluding that he didn’t feel that the 2011 team would be much better than its 2010 incarnation. I’d say that’s a fairly accurate assessment, as the offense hasn’t really undergone any significant upgrades — though Victor Martinez‘s bat does give Detroit a rather formidable 3-4-5 — while the starting rotation continues to remain a fairly fairly large question mark after Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.

The mere fact that Phil Coke is slated to be the team’s fifth starter is enough to send Yankee fans into delirious fits of amusement, but who knows, maybe Comerica and Coke were made for each other? The bullpen received an upgrade in the form of Joaquin Benoit, while Jose Valverde will likely continue to be an effective closer while also infuriating opponents with his ridiculous clucking after recording each and every out.… Click here to read the rest

Yankeeist's 2010 ALCS Preview, Part 4: Advantages for the Rangers and Advantages for the Yankees

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of Yankeeist’s 2010 ALCS Series Preview, in which we’ll be taking a look at a few specific factors that could influence how the series plays out. In case you missed parts 1, 2 and 3, please click on the following:

Yankeeist’s 2010 ALCS Series Preview, Part 1: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers
Yankeeist’s 2010 ALCS Series Preview, Part 2: 25-Man Roster Comparisons
Yankeeist’s 2010 ALCS Series Preview, Part 3: The Pitching Match-Ups

Four advantages for the Rangers

1) Clifton Phifer Lee

2) Clifton Phifer Lee
Yes, Cliff Lee accounts for two advantages all by himself, even if he doesn’t get around to pitching a second time in Game 7. And if he does, I don’t want to know about it. We’ve spent scads of time all season talking about how awesome Lee is, not to mention even more time on him yesterday, so no need to rehash everything here, but let’s just say without Lee the Yankees would probably sweep the Rangers.… Click here to read the rest

Yankeeist's 2010 ALCS Preview, Part 3: The Pitching Match-Ups

As you know, the Yankees square off against the Rangers in the 2010 American League Championship Series beginning tomorrow night. This will be the Yankees’ 14th appearance in the ALCS, which was created in 1969 (though not expanded to its current seven-game format until 1985), and the Rangers’ first. The Yankees are 11-2 all-time in the ALCS, with their only losses coming in 1980 against the Kansas City Royals, and 2004 against the Boston Red Sox.

We’ve already taken a look at the two teams’ overall numbers in the regular season, along with the numbers for the players that will actually be playing on the teams’ 25-man rosters. Now we turn our eyes to the starting pitching match-ups.

The Yankees threw a bit of a curveball upon announcing their rotation Wednesday night. While many expected — myself included — that the Yankees would go CC SabathiaAndy PettittePhil Hughes-Sabathia-A.J. Burnett-Pettitte-Sabathia, it turns out the Yankees intend to go with the following rotation:

Game 1: Sabathia
Game 2: Hughes
Game 3: Pettitte
Game 4: Burnett

This means Sabathia would pitch Game 5, Hughes Game 6 and Pettitte Game 7.… Click here to read the rest

Yankeeist's 2010 ALCS Preview, Part 2: 25-Man Roster Comparisons

In case you missed Part 1, please click on the following:

Yankeeist’s 2010 ALCS Preview: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers

The Yankees announced last night that they haven’t changed their roster from the first round. Likewise, I wouldn’t expect too many changes on the Rangers’ front, although given Ron Washington’s love of relievers, perhaps he adds another for the ALCS.

Anyway, below are the season numbers for the Yankees’ 25-man ALCS roster along with the Rangers’ 25-man from the DS. Once again with the Yankees I’ve given them ten starters on offense due to the Marcus Thames/Lance Berkman platoon, and I’ve also given the Rangers 10 starters as they seem to like to rotate their outfield depending on the handedness of a pitcher.

Offense

One thing I was not expecting to see was the Rangers’ group of 10 starting hitters have a higher SLG and OPS than the Yankees’ 10, though Lance Berkman‘s uncharacteristically low regular season SLG combined with Jeff Francoeur‘s much-too-high number is clearly skewing the data.… Click here to read the rest

Yankeeist's 2010 ALCS Preview, Part 1: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers

And so it’s finally official: the Yankees will face the Texas Rangers in the 2010 American League Championship Series starting Friday night. This is the first time the Yankees have met Texas in the ALCS, though the Yankees are 3-0 against the Rangers in Division Series play. This is the ninth time the Yankees have reached the ALCS since the playoffs expanded in 1995, and they have gone on to play in the World Series an outstanding seven of the previous eight times, with the lone loss of course coming at the hands of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

Like last week, we’re going to divide our American League Championship Series preview up into four parts. We’ll start again with the two teams’ offense and pitching numbers, with AL ranks in parentheses (yellow highlight denotes the superior ranking):
And here are a smattering of the two teams’ baserunning and situational hitting numbers:
Tm R/G ROE RS% CS SB% SB2 SB3 PO OOB BT XBT% 1stS 1stS2 1stS3 1stD 1stD3 1stDH 2ndS 2ndS3 2ndSH
NYY 5.30 54 33% 30 77% 93 9 19 48 161 38% 328 236 87 97 56 39 193 73 110
TEX 4.86 61 32% 48 72% 105 16 29 61 199 42% 369 238 126 75 44 30 215 89 119
LgAvg 4.45 58 30% 39 74% 93 14 20 55 159 40% 306 214 88 91 52 37 185 70 106
4.45 811 30% 540 74% 1297 200 281 765 2223 40% 4282 2994 1229 1278 728 514 2595 980 1486
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/11/2010.
Click here to read the rest

Yankeeist's 2010 ALDS Preview, Part 4: Advantages for the Twins and Advantages for the Yankees

Welcome to the fourth and final installment of Yankeeist’s 2010 ALDS Series Preview, in which we’ll be taking a look at a few specific factors that could influence how the series plays out. In case you missed parts 1, 2 and 3, please click on the following:

Yankeeist’s 2010 ALDS Series Preview, Part 1: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers
Yankeeist’s 2010 ALDS Series Preview, Part 2: 25-Man Roster Comparisons
Yankeeist’s 2010 ALDS Series Preview, Part 3: The Pitching Match-Ups

Four advantages for the Twins

1) Home field. The Twins had the best home record in the American League in 2010, though they were only a game better than the Yankees. Still, the Twins are a very potent team at home, hitting .282/.354/.422 compared to .265/.328/.421 on the road. Much has also been made of Target Field’s propensity for suppressing home runs, something that plays against one of the Yankees’ major strengths. Expect to see a lot of long flyouts in Minnesota.… Click here to read the rest

Yankeeist's 2010 ALDS Preview, Part 2: 25-Man Roster Comparisons

In case you missed part 1, please click on the following:

Yankeeist’s 2010 ALDS Series Preview, Part 1: Head-to-Head Overall Team Numbers

Edited, 1:24pm. So of course the roster was announced five minutes after this post went up. Greg Golson did indeed make the roster over Eduardo Nunez, while Dustin Moseley got the nod over Ivan Nova for some reason. A.J. Burnett is also on the roster. The following individual player breakdowns are my best guesses at the 25-man rosters; as neither team has released them yet. I think I’m pretty close on the Yankee roster, though one of Eduardo Nunez or Ramiro Pena could be swapped out for Greg Golson, while the Yankees could opt for another reliever instead of A.J. Burnett, although if they’re thinking about Royce Ring or Chad Gaudin I’d prefer Burnett.

I haven’t heard word on the Twins yet, but I feel pretty good about the 14 position players I expect Minnesota to use.… Click here to read the rest