Over the last couple of decades the New York Yankees have played more games in October than the New York Giants. With sixteen playoff appearances over the last 17 years, they’re regulars on the postseason circuit.

But there is some concern among the faithful whether the Yanks will be playing this October. New York hasn’t exactly lit the American League on fire so far this season, and they’ve actually struggled to score runs at times. Not to mention their problems making money vs. the MLB odds.

The Yanks entered this week just a couple games out of first place in the AL East, and if the postseason started today they’d be in, on the road in Baltimore playing in the first of Bud Selig’s latest and greatest inventions, the one-game Wild-Card playoff. 

Oddsmakers everywhere figure New York will get to October. Bovada.lv is listing the Yankees at +200 to win the AL East, at 9/2 to win the pennant and 17/2 to win the World Series.

Last year the Yankees won 97 games and were the top seed in the American League, but got booted out of the playoffs in the first round by the Tigers. Yankees fans, of course, don’t like early exits, like last year. But hey, at least they’ve usually got a rooting interest come October. Not like Orioles fans, who usually start looking forward to Ravens football around the All-Star break.

So what does NY need to do to keep its postseason run alive?

To begin, they’ll need a better collective effort from the guys on the back end of the starting rotation. CC Sabathia is holding up his end of the bargain, which is, uhh, a neat trick in itself. But after CC the  threesome of Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova are 13-for-32 in quality starts this season. And that’s not good enough.

Are they counting on Old Man Pettitte to continue his early good fortune? That might be wishful thinking.

Of course, if any of those guys don’t pan out, the Yanks could always bring in Jamie Moyer.

They’ll also need Rafael Soriano to continue his good work in relief of the injured David Robertson, who was pitching in relief of the injured Mariano Rivera. So far, so good with Soriano, who’s seven-for-seven in save chances.

The New York offense is still potent, but not like Torre’s bombers of those championship seasons not so long ago. A-Rod is showing wear-and-tear, Teixeira is struggling to hit .250 and while Jeter is hitting .336, four/fifths of his 75 hits have been singles. Then again, he’s always been pretty good with that singles thing. But they’ll need more out of Cano and Swisher and others if they’re going to make October again.