I’ve been giving this some thought now and could see the Yankees post-season results this year going down one of the following paths:
1. Their pitching fails and the Yankees get waxed in the ALDS – somewhat like 2002 and 2005.
2. At some point in the post-season, Damon, Jeter, Abreu and Matsui go on fire (as a group) and the Yankees win 8 post-season games in a row – on route to a ring.
3. Each post-season series for New York goes at least up to the next to last game scheduled and via a bunch of breaks and fluke performances, the Yankees win it all.
Now, from the Yankees fan perspective, two of these three outcomes would be fine – as they end up in a ring. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a 67% chance for a ring this year – in my mind. I would say that it’s 50-50. I believe that the odds are equal – and that the Yankees have just as good of a chance to get bounced in the ALDS as they do to go all the way.
Winning, simply put, comes down to run differential. The Yankees pitchers will have to step up in October – meaning that guys like Wang and Mussina will have to continue to pitch well and guys like Johnson, Wright and Lidle will have to have their “A” game going at all times. Or, New York’s hitters will have to make the team’s pitching performance irrelevant. I have a lot of faith that Damon, Jeter, Abreu and Matsui are going to hit well this October. I believe that each one of them has the ability to bring it to another level in a big spot. But, that’s going to be hard – as the Yankees will always face good pitching in the post-season.
Of course, if the Yankees don’t pitch and don’t hit, it’s all going to end fast.
O.K., enough, here’s the final prediction for this post-season: If the Yankees win the ALDS, I can see them going back to the World Series and then winning a ring in six games. This said, the ALDS will be one small step for the Yankees this October, but, one giant leap for their overall chances.