Can you smell it in the air? No, it’s not that stinky guy in the cubicle next to you. IT’S OCTOBER BASEBALL! Unfortunately for the common baseball fan, the regular season extends into October, killing some of the aura. But still, IT’S OCTOBER! And with every October (well, 15 of the last 16 Octobers) means Yankee playoff baseball. Before the fun begins, the Bombers have three more games against the Boston Red Sox.

If you browsed the schedule back in April, you figured these three games in Boston would have some meaning. And they do. Neither the Yankees nor the Rays really want to win the American League East. The Yankees have dropped 15 of their last 22 games while the Rays have dropped four of their last seven to the Mariners, Orioles, and Royals, the American League’s three worst teams!

The Yankees and Rays start today with identical 94-65 records. The Rays won the regular season series, so they hold the tie breaker over the Bombers. If you care about home field advantage, the Twins are a game behind the Yanks/Rays.

Will the Yankees over-exert themselves to win this division? No.
But is the division attainable? Definitely is.

The Rays faced Zack Greinke last night and will have the luxury of facing Bruce Chen, Kyle Davies, and Sean O’Sullivan. The Yankees will draw Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz, and that piece of garbage, John Lackey.

Andy Pettitte, AJ Burnett, and a TBA pitcher will face the Sox. I can guarantee you that, that TBA pitcher won’t be CC Sabathia. Sabathia is slotted to pitch Game 1 of the ALDS on Wednesday. The Yankees won’t compromise their playoff chances, even if they hold the division lead going into Sunday.

If you care about such things, the Rays will throw ‘Big Game’, TBA, and Wade Davis at the Royals.

The Rays definitely hold the advantage, but the Yankees must play good baseball before the playoffs begin.

Baseball isn’t a game where a team can just simply turn on a switch and play well. The Yankees need to mix in some rest for regulars with a mentality that they’ll just beat up the Triple A Red Sox.

Things I’ll be looking for this weekend:

1. A good start from AJ Burnett. If Burnett can turn in a seven inning, two or three run performance, I’ll post a video on here of me dancing. Promise. Burnett last won with this type of performance since July 7th.

2. Continued success from the bullpen: The boys out in the pen have been solid all season. Let’s see a few nice tune-up performances before the bullets are live.

3. A-Rod: Alex Rodriguez is on an absolute tear. Rodriguez hit .309 during September with nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 81 at-bats.

Chew on this stat: Rodriguez has played in only 134 games this year. He has 124 RBIs.
Oh yeah, he reached 30 HRs and 100 RBIs for the 14th time in his career, the most all-time.

It’s time to beat up Boston and get ready for the Divisional Round, whoever that opponent may be.

Game Schedule:

Friday, 7:05

Saturday, 4:10

Sunday, 1:35