Three games to end the season and the Rays need to win all three and get some help from the Baltimore Orioles, if they are to have a chance at the playoffs. Three games and three questions, answered here by Robert Bonanni from the Fansided site YanksGoYard. You can find my answers to his questions there. We talk about pitching, the Rays’ playoff hopes and who the Yankees would rather see in the mix. His answer to that question was very interesting, as you will see inside.
It is no question that the Rays need this series more than New York. The Yankees have locked up everything they can in the regular season, so these games have no real bearing on their postseason aspirations. That being said, I wouldn’t look for them to just lay down either. While the regulars may not play every inning of the series, Girardi will not just be sitting players for whole games. The biggest difference between this series and the four game set last week in New York, is the pitchers the Rays will be facing. They will not see Ivan Nova or C.C. Sabathia. Here’s a look at three things you need to know to get ready for the final series of the regular season.
How much do the Yankees plan to rest their players?
I think the regulars will get a few at bats just to stay sharp the first two games of the series. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the big names start and play 5 or 6 innings and then come out. I am almost certain that nobody of importance will play the 3rd game. As for the relievers, maybe Rivera pitches once in the series. I would say the same for the other important relievers. For the starters, Hughes and Colon are pitching for a game 3 start in the first round, so they will pitch like it was a meaningful game. They still have not announced a starter for Wednesday, so it is possible they will just throw someone random.
Who would the Yankees rather see make the playoffs, the Red Sox or the Rays?
Much rather play the Red Sox. They are an ultimate disaster right now. They could not even beat A.J. Burnett. They will be lucky if they win another game this year. Their rotation is in shambles, even Lester and Beckett have struggled. The Rays have starting pitching that might be the best in the entire American League. They are by far and away the more dangerous team.
How settled are the Yankees on their playoff rotation?
They are pretty settled except for game 3. C.C. will pitch games 1 and 4. Nova will pitch 2 and 5. My prediction is Burnett pitches game 3. He pitched well against the Red Sox today and the Yankees always give him the benefit of doubt. Despite how bad he is, I still think they believe he can go out and give them the best chance of winning in a game 3. Colon and Garcia have not pitched well and I think they want Hughes in the bullpen.