Friday, August 17, 2012
Boston is teetering on falling out of contention, despite winning in Baltimore Thursday night, 6-3. Players have complained to ownership about manager Bobby Valentine on more than one occasion. Owners have held a clandestine meeting with players, and Valentine wasn’t invited. And subsequent to this, all public sentiment has been supportive of the manager. It’s perplexing and reeks of dysfunction. A Yankees sweep could be the wreck on the hiighway.
The Sox say they still believe they will get hot, even though they’ve lost a lot more than they’ve won since the July 26 secret meetings (there also was one between ownership and Valentine). Their reality is it has to happen soon. The teams that lead for the AL wild cards are on pace to win approximately 87 games; the Sox could get there by winning about two out of every three to finish.
Here’s how I have MLB’s postseason odds looking as of this morning.
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
The Yankees can’t eliminate Boston with a sweep this weekend, but they can make it almost impossible for them to win the AL East. If the Yankees sweep Boston and then go 21-20 over the rest of the season, Boston would have to go 36-7 just to tie them. If the Yankees went 14-27 they’d end up at the 87 wins that the wild card leaders are on target for and Boston would still have to go 29-14 to tie them.
Here are the pitching matchups for this series.
Friday, August 17
Franklin Morales vs. Phil Hughes
Saturday, August 18
Jon Lester vs. David Phelps
Sunday, August 19
Josh Beckett vs. Hiroki Kuroda
Since seemingly turning the corner with his start on May 6, Phil Hughes has had the occasional bad start. However, until his last two turns in the rotation he’s been able to rebound in the following game. On May 28 he gave up 7 runs in 5.1 innings in Anaheim and followed that up with a complete game four-hitter where allowed just one run in Detroit. He gave up six runs at home against Atlanta on June 28 and followed that up with 8 shutout innings vs. Cleveland. Since May 6, Hughes hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any two consecutive starts until his last two.
But now that he’s had back-to-back poor starts I have to admit my faith in him is shaken. Tonight’s game would be a nice way to redeem some of that faith, but I’m not betting on him.
I like the other two match ups a bit better. I’ll be pretty disappointed if the Yankees don’t take at least two of these three games.
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