Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Experience Behind a September Playoff Chase

The month of September and the week of the regular season that will be played in October is shaping up to be an exciting one as the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays are going to go down to the wire to decide an American League East Division winner. Toronto may be in the driver’s seat right now but the Yankees are steadily putting the pressure on their neighbors and rivals from the north, can the Blue Jays handle the pressure or will they fold under it all? I know the stats I am about to unfold to you all mean relatively little in the grand scheme of things but I thought it would be worth showcasing just how much, or how little in most cases, the presumed starting offenses and rotations have in the playoffs.

The point of this exercise is to see whether New York’s veteran leadership and experience with the September grind and October push will help them in chasing down the Toronto Blue Jays. It will also be worth looking at to see if as the pressure builds and the games get later and later into the season whether the veteran, albeit inexperienced, leaders in Toronto can hold it all together. At the end of the day these numbers and stats mean relatively nothing, this is Major League Baseball after all, but that doesn’t make them any less interesting.

We all knew that Toronto had far less playoff experience than New York but I had no idea just how little. Again, having a veteran led team with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin and probably the American League MVP Josh Donaldson probably makes all these numbers a moot point but you never know until you actually play the games. One thing is for certain it doesn’t look like the playoff atmosphere and lights are going to bother the inexperienced Didi Gregorius’s, Luis Severino’s or Greg Bird’s of the world so maybe, just maybe the Yankees have a shot at avoiding that one-game playoff Wild Card round and can wrap up this division late. Weirder things have happened, like the fact that Mark Buehrle and David Price both have more saves in the playoffs than the entire Yankees bullpen combined.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)