According to ESPN.com’s POFF the NY Yankees have a 94.8% chance of making the playoffs this year. To put that in perspective the second place Orioles are 3.5 out and given a 26.2% chance. The third place Tampa Bay Rays are 4 out but have a 65.4% chance. Quite frankly, I don’t think the Yankees are nearly that much of a lock.
Sure the Yankees are first in slugging and fourth in on base percentage in baseball. Their offense can score runs in bunches. If I’m an opposing pitcher looking at the Yankee’s lineup though I see some potential holes. Teixeria and Granderson have a lot of dingers but they are hitting .255 (.335) and .236 (.330). Granderson has K’d 156 times. So they have been pretty much all or nothing kind of guys this season. Jeter is having such a good year a certain sports writer suggested that he may be “juicing.” But as solid as Jeter’s season has been he’s not exactly the type of hitter to strike fear in a pitcher’s heart. The only really dangerous bat the Yanks have right now is Robinson Cano. I actually think for the Yankees to make the playoffs Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez and Ichiro are going to have to have really strong last five weeks of the season. As for Raul Ibanez, I wasn’t a fan of that signing when it happened and nothing that has happened this season has changed my mind. He looked old last year he looks older this year. (Which is how these things should work.)
As for pitching the Yankees have a good one two punch right now with CC Sabathia and Kuroda. But after that there are a lot of question marks in their starters. Nova hasn’t gotten many people out since the all star break. Hughes can be good he can be bad, hence the 12-11 record. The Yankees played best this year when Andy Pettitte was in their rotation. If he can come back in September it will be a lift and should help assure the Yankees of making the playoffs. If he can’t, I’d give the Yankees more like a 50 / 50 chance of making the playoffs.