The New York Yankees limped into the postseason as the Wild Card after fading down the stretch in the regular season, but were able to answer their critics by beating the Minnesota Twins 3-0 in the ALDS. The Texas Rangers entered the postseason having never won a postseason series in the entire 49 year history, but were able to reverse that trend by narrowly defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2.
New York Yankees 2010 MLB ALCS Playoffs Preview
The Yankees entered the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins with questions about how their starting rotation would hold up behind C.C. Sabathia. The ALDS ended with the Yankees sweeping the Twins in three games. The Yankees outscored the Twins 17-7, coming back from early deficits in Games 1 and 2 before thoroughly dominating Minnesota in Game 3.
Despite the ALDS performance, however, there are still questions about the Yankees’ pitching staff. Andy Pettite’s health is still an issue (he missed significant time this season with a hamstring injury) and Phil Hughes has never had a start this late in the season before. Once you get past the front three of New York’s rotation, you then have to wonder if A.J. Burnett or Javier Vazquez are capable of putting together a good performance in the postseason after both struggled mightily in the regular season.
Texas Rangers 2010 MLB ALCS Playoffs Preview
It wasn’t easy, but the Texas Rangers were able to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in the ALDS. Neither team won a home game in the series (the first time this has ever happened in a division series), but the real difference came down to one fact: The Texas Rangers have Cliff Lee and the Tampa Bay Rays don’t. Lee improved his playoff record to 6-0 with a one-run complete game in Tuesday’s series clincher, and was able to rack up 21 strikeouts against the Rays without walking a single batter.
How the Rangers fare in the ALCS will rely a lot on whether Lee can keep up his amazing run through the postseason, but there are other factors at play as well. Having home-field advantage is usually a good thing in the playoffs, but the Rangers went 0-2 at home in the ALDS while they were 3-0 playing in Tampa Bay. The Rangers will need to win at least one game in Arlington to make it to the World Series, and that’s not including the fact that they have to play their road games at one of the most hostile road stadiums in the majors: Yankee Stadium.
Yankees vs. Rangers Conclusion
The Yankees have had a lot of time to rest from their sweep of the Twins, but the Texas Rangers are riding high on adrenaline and look to continue their miracle run through the postseason. Cliff Lee will probably only start two games of the ALCS after pitching twice in the ALDS, but if the Rangers are able to pick up at least one win against Sabathia, they will be in the driver’s seat for this series. Expect the ALCS to go a full seven games, but also expect Lee to dominate the Yankees in Game 7 and the Rangers to advance to the World Series.
2010 MLB ALCS Playoffs Prediction: Texas Rangers defeat New York Yankees, 4-3
All statistics retrieved from ESPN.comhttp://espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2010/matchup/_/teams/yankees-rangers