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MLB OctoberFest: The New York Yankees

The once “Kings of the AL East” found themselves fighting for dominance in 2020. Can these Yankees make a playoff run like the old days?

Yankees Nostalgia Train by MTA is licensed under CC 2.0

MLB OctoberFest: The New York Yankees

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Well, the 2020 MLB Playoffs are upon us.  As baseball finally moves into it’s Bubble phase, 16 teams are squaring off to determine this year’s World Series champion.  While it’s hard to think that there won’t be an asterisk next to the 2020 title, a champion will be crowned.

The MLB is a fickle beast.  Star-driven and tank-friendly, teams in the dumpster one year can be the king of the mountain the next.  With that, stakes are high for almost every team as they make their playoff run, with sought-after stars often heading for greener pastures if they feel their squad can’t get over the hump. 

We’re looking at each of the MLB playoff contenders and diving into what’s at stake for each team, the odds of making a deep run, and key storylines to watch. 

Let’s hit the New York Yankees, and their chances at securing a ring in 2020.

The New York Yankees

Expectations: World Series

The Yankees are a World Series or bust team. Even during this weird season, if the Yankees can’t pull off a trip to the World Series, this season is a bust. We are tired of not winning in NY and it’s got to change.

What’s Working for Them: DJ Lemaheiu

DJ Lemaheiu, Luke Voit, and others hitting home runs.

DJ is one of the most dangerous players at the plate with runners in scoring position. He is also on cusp of winning the AL batting title, batting .366. If he can stay this dangerous and consistent, it’ll give Judge a chance to bat in some RBIs for an early lead.

Voit is leading the league in home runs and should get some MVP votes after a tremendous shortened season. Keeping his momentum up in October is key.

The Yankees questionable offensive strategy for the past few years has been: get a man on base, and then hit a home run. Without the home run they can’t score. Even the addition of Gerrit Cole can’t save them if they can’t score.

What Might Hold Them Back: Inconsistent offense, injuries, and defensive errors.

For a lineup that looks like the best in the league on paper, they are the most inconsistent on the daily basis.

Also, the injury bug has kept this team back for years. Will Aaron Judge actually stay healthy? Will Giancarlo Stanton do some stretching? Can this team stay healthy for the entire postseason? I have no clue.

The Yankees have the third most errors on defense this season. Outside of Gio Urshella, this team lacks consistency on defense. If they can’t tighten that up come playoff time, it’s going to be tough for them to stay in games.

Storyline to Watch

Gerrit Cole and the rest of the pitching staff.

Cole was a monster acquisition this offseason and he needs to deliver. He was brought in to dominate the playoff, and if he can’t put up numbers a lot of fans are going to say a lot of stupid stuff.

I would also argue that Aaron Judge needs to have a really big postseason. He has to put the team on his back as the face of the team. He can’t strike out consistently with men is scoring position or Yankee fans will tear him apart.

I think they can make this another World Series win, but can they show up like we know they can?

Lighting Designer by day, sports fan the rest of the time. New York City is the best city on Earth. Getting mad over the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, and Rangers occupies most of my time. Bowling and Golf are the only sports I can play. Joey Chestnut is America's greatest athlete.

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