Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Confidence, or Lack Thereof, In The Yankees

I'm hardly the only Yankees fan that doesn't feel confident about the team right now.

"What the heck is going on with this team!?!?"

When the team is doing well I get upset when they lose, while at the same time I feel that when they win it's expected and therefore I don't get excited. But right now I feel the opposite... if they win I'm happy, but if they lose I don't get upset as I'm not really surprised.

That's pretty sad, isn't it?

But I'm not giving on them this season. They are still postseason bound. And any team that gets into the postseason has a shot. Sure, on paper, some teams have a better shot than others, but the winners aren't decided on paper. So I have to stay the course.

On that note, I decided to write down reasons why I'm confident and not confident about how the rest of the Yankees' season plays out...

Why I'm not confident in the Yankees heading into the postseason

1. The Yankees were 58-44 heading into August. Since then the team's record is 28-26 (.519). Speaking of record, often times having the best record in MLB means little, as sometimes it's the hottest team going into the postseason that wins it all. On that note, the Yankees are 14-12 (.538) since the end of August. That's not what I'd call "hot".

2. Going further with the idea of a team being "hot" going into the postseason, let's see what the team has done in the past 30 days...

  • Team wOBA of .317, behind playoff or possible playoff teams Toronto, Houston, Texas, Kansas City, and Minnesota. 
  • Team ERA of 3.93, behind Houston, Toronto, Kansas City, and Los Angeles of Anaheim.

Note how Toronto, Houston, and Kansas City are on both of those lists.

3. Brian McCann, Chase Headley, and Brett Gardner are in serious funks the past couple of weeks (wOBAs of .256, .224, and .202, respectively). Along with Didi Gregorius and Alex Rodriguez being average hitters at best during that same time, the team has only managed to score 45 runs (25th in MLB).

Now that I have the negativity out of the way, I'm going to get back to trying to be positive.

"Cheer up, little man."

Why I am confident in the Yankees heading into the postseason

1. Michael Pineda and Luis Severino have looked really good over their last two or three starts. And in his previous four starts, Masahiro Tanaka has thrown really well too. Those three are the team's probably top three starters in the postseason, which bodes well for the Yanks. Just don't bring up the 4th starter.

2. Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Justin Wilson have done well as in the 7th through the 9th innings. That means a starter doesn't have to worry about going deep into games, and thus holding back something early on. If you need somebody for the 5th and/or 6th innings, we may have Nathan Eovaldi to step in. Provided he can relieve... something he hasn't done in MLB since his 2011 rookie season.

3. While McCann, Headley, and Gardner have been bad the past couple of weeks, regulars Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran have been hitting quite well. Hopefully those six all return to normal (meaning some hit better and some worse, but falling into the "average" range), while Alex Rodriguez and Didi Gregorius hit a little better as they have in before 2015. That's not a tall order.

I'll wrap this up by doing something I usually shy away from.... thinking about other teams. See, normally I'm all about the Yankees doing their thing, and not worrying about other teams, but if I'm to root for something to happen I'd like to see Texas hold onto the AL West, while Houston falters and loses the 2nd WC spot to LAA or MIN. Plus, let's all hope that Toronto and KC lose it at least a bit.

"A little help here would be nice."

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