Jorge Posada wasn’t tested in the ALDS, but the Rangers can run.
Francisco Cervelli figures to catch A.J. Burnett. Texas will go
with the duo of Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor, who has caught C.J.
Wilson’s last four starts. Neither has had a good season. Edge:
Rookie Mitch Moreland has hit homers and drawn walks (teamhigh
five vs. the
Yankees this year) in limited major
league tenure. It was an impressive ALDS performance from Mark
Teixeira after last year’s miserable postseason. Edge:
Ian Kinsler tore the Rays up in the ALDS, hitting .444, blasting
three homers and driving in six runs. Robinson Cano has been the
best second baseman in baseball. Best head-to-head matchup of the
Speedy and sharp defensively, Elvis Andrus – dealt to Texas in
the Teixeira trade – was awful in second half but racked up eight
ALDS hits. Derek Jeter looked better in the ALDS and hit .385
against Texas during the year. Edge:
Alex Rodriguez didn’t do that much in the ALDS (zero extra-base
hits), though it’s presumably only a matter of time. Career Ranger
Michael Young, a six-time All-Star, had another excellent year.
David Murphy had a phenomenal second half but didn’t play vs.
lefties in the ALDS. Julio Borbon or Nelson Cruz could play here
vs. CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, with Jeff Francoeur in right
when Cruz is in left. Brett Gardner was probably the
Yankees’ worst player in the ALDS.
Back from his rib injury, probable AL MVP Josh Hamilton made his
postseason debut but struggled against the Rays (2-for-18). In his
Yankees postseason, Curtis
Granderson had monster ALDS Edge: Rangers
In eight games vs. the
Yankees this year, Cruz has three
homers. The only Ranger with a better OPS this year was Hamilton.
Nick Swisher was solid vs. Minnesota, but Rangers owned him this
season, holding him to 3-for-29 with 12 strikeouts. Edge: Even
Enormous season for Vladimir Guerrero, who has batted .356
(16-for-45) against the
Yankees in two past playoff series.
Lance Berkman wanted to play Texas and should face righties Colby
Lewis and Tommy Hunter. Marcus Thames will play vs. lefties Cliff
Lee and C.J. Wilson. Edge: Rangers
A.J. Burnett will rejoin the rotation for one start likely in
Game 4, making that contest a potentially major issue. The CC
Sabathia-Andy Pettitte-Phil Hughes trifecta is slightly better than
Texas’ top trio of LeeWilson-Lewis, especially because Lee goes
once in first six games. The ace lefty, however, is also set for
Game 7. Edge: Even
Relief group of Mariano Rivera, Kerry Wood, David Robertson and
Boone Logan was good in the ALDS versus the Twins, though Wood was
a little shaky. Texas’ probable Rookie of the Year closer Neftali
Feliz is a flamethrower, with a setup crew including former Mets
Darren O’Day and Darren Oliver, plus righty Alexi Ogando and lefty
Derek Holland. Edge:
Late in games, Greg Golson will be in right field for defense.
Cervelli possibly could catch Burnett. Either Berkman or Thames is
a strong pinch-hitting option. Former Met Francoeur and speedy
outfielder Borbon lead the Rangers bench, plus either
Molina/Treanor and Jorge Cantu. Edge: Even
It’s the first postseason as manager for Texas’ Ron Washington,
whose team has improved its win total each of the past three years.
Joe Girardi is 14-4 as a postseason manager. Edge:
The Rangers are talented but inexperienced, and just played a
tough, five-game series. The
Yankees rolled over the Twins, are
well-rested and have been here before. The Rangers do have Lee, a
righty-heavy lineup and homefield advantage. Edge: Even