Yankees rotation may not be complete yet

Guardians or Rays: who would the Yankees rather battle in the ALDS?

The 2022 MLB Postseason is here. The postseason opens this afternoon with four Wild Card Series matchups to be played in a best-of-three format over the weekend. As the AL East Division Champions, the Yankees have the luxury of a bye and five days’ rest. In the interim, the Rays (No. 6 AL seed) will face the Guardians (No. 3) starting today at 12:07 p.m. EDT at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The winner of the best-of-three battle will determine who the Yankees face in the ALDS starting in the Bronx on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

I know what you’re all thinking. We don’t want to face the Rays. Nobody wants to face the Rays. Ever. Don’t be so quick to overlook Terry Francona & Co.

Head to Head

The Guardians hold the title at 4-2 over the Rays this year, so take that for what you will. As far as how the Yankees bode against the two teams this year, the Yankees went 5-1 over the Guardians and 11-8 over the Rays, however five of those losses were in Aug. and early Sept. when the Yankees were forced to call up the whole Scranton Wilkes-Barre roster and hit one of the worst ruts in baseball history.

Nobody’s Throwing Meatballs

Neither team is going to toss us the meatballs, unfortunately. We’ve got to pick the lesser of two Shane’s or something like that. The Rays are known for their depth on the bump and finished the regular season 4th overall with a collective 3.41 ERA. The return of a healthy Tyler Glasnow could be a turning point for them. Don’t sleep on the Guardians bullpen, though. They raked in the 4th lowest ERA across the board this year with a 3.05.

Kick em’ While They’re Down

The Guardians enter the postseason a seemingly strong and healthy squad with just one player on the IL, LHP Anthony Gose, who had Tommy John surgery. The injury bug did not, however, hold back on the Rays this year, with Nick Anderson, Shane Baz, J.P. Feyereisen, Kevin Kiermaier, Andrew Kittredge, Brandon Lowe, Brendan McKay, Ryan Thompson and Mike Zunino all on the 60-day IL list. Those on the 10/15-day IL include LHP’s Colin Poche and Ryan Yarbrough and outfielder Roman Quinn. Yandy Diaz recently returned from a shoulder injury, but it’s worth nothing that he may not be 100%.

The Final Stretch

As of late, the Guardians have been on a hot streak, while the Rays slid down in the AL East standings. The Guardians went 7-3 in their final 10 games of the season and the Rays crawled to the finish line going 2-8.

Cash It In

Don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying we want to face the Rays. Nobody wants to face the Rays. Ever. But isn’t it just more fun to beat Kevin Cash?

Jonna M. Perlinger