Tonight the New York Yankees play the Houston Astros in the MLB’s first Wild Card game of the postseason. As a Yankees fan I am excited to see my favorite team back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. As a fan of advanced statistics I am excited to see the Astros organization’s patience be rewarded in the form of a super exciting young team headed up by probable Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, who will be taking the mound in this winner-take-all game.
I haven’t watched a ton of Yankees games this year, but it’s been fascinating following the team throughout the year. This team is like the island of really expensive misfit toys. To think that Alex Rodriguez at 40, coming off of an entire year away from the big leagues could hit 33 home runs, and carry a team for weeks at a time is pretty incredible. You could say the same about 35 year old, Mark Teixeira who stayed healthy just long enough to put the Yankees in a position for a playoff run. When Tex finally did succumb to a season ending tibia injury, the bombers got a huge push from the relatively unknown call up Greg Bird, who was able to come up with some really big hits in the 46 games he’s played.
You pair the Yankees patch work lineup and pitching staff with the an above average bullpen that boasts one of the best set-up man to closer bridges in the majors you get yourself just enough to make the playoffs in this modern day, 5 team playoff bracket.
And now New York goes up against their foil in the Houston Astros, a team with a loaded farm system players like short stop, Carlos Correa, second baseman, Jose Altuve and the before mentioned Keuchel. The Astros spent years building up their farm system, and now have most of that talent on the field for tonight’s game.
This is a fun way to start the MLB Postseason, with two teams that have gotten hear by drastically different means. Both teams will be heavy underdogs to the defending AL Champion Kansas City Royals, but baseball is a really goofy game, and typically doesn’t care much about which team is favored. It would be great to see this group of misfits make a run at the pennant.