The Rangers lost yesterday and the Red Sox clinched the American League Wild Card which means that the only possible teams that can play the Yankees in the first round are the Tigers or the Twins. It looks as though the Yankees will be playing the Tigers in the first round. With a Tigers win last night, in a great game by the way, the standings are as follows.
Detroit Tigers –
Minnesota Twins 2.0
The Twins have two remaining games in this series, and that will be it for the year against the Tigers. Either way, I don’t think that the Twins can overcome the Tigers. But, what we can
realistically hope for, is a race until the end. If the Twins continue to stay on the Tigers tails, Verlander will be forced to pitch on the final day of the season and most likely won’t be able to pitch the first game of the playoffs. That would be a huge lift for the Yankees and would exponentially increase their chances of winning the first game, which also exponentially increases their chances to win the series. If he makes the start on the last day of the season, and the Tigers still decide to pitch him in the first game of the ALDS, Verlander would be going on 2 or 3 games rest, which he has never done in his career before.
Also, if Verlander makes that start on the last day of the season, it would also affect the Yankees decision for which format they would want. If they picked the format with the 2 off days, the playoffs would start one day earlier, and the Verlander would be starting on just 2 days rest as opposed to three. That adds an advantage to that format. So here are the updated advantages to each format.
3 Days Rest Format:
1. You only need two starters and can skip Joba Chamberlain.
2. The bullpen will be well rested for each game
3. A-Rod can get the extra rest that his hip needs
2 Days Rest Format:
1. You don’t have to (potentially) face Verlander and Jackson twice
2. You expose their weak fourth starter
3. If Verlander pitches the final day of the season, he would only be able to start the first game on 2 days rest and would likely start the second game.
They both have their perks, but I would still pick the first format.
Heres a look at all of the series:
Information provided by MLB.com