Today is the day that the greatest sport’s franchise will start another journey to the ultimate goal of a 28th World Series Championship. With more questions that need to be answered for the Yankees at the beginning of a season in more than 20 years. What are the 5 key things that will happen this year to help the Yankees reach baseball nirvana.
1. The Yankees will win less than 95 games this year. Last year they won 95 games and the place where they will likely lose these 2 or three games is within the division. Last year in the AL East the Yankees went 41-31. The team I see them dropping a few games to or the revamped Toronto Blue Jays, with their rebuilt rotation and potent lineup. Look for the Yankees to go 8-10 against the Blue Jays and finish the year with 92 wins.
2. The everyday outfield for the Yankees will not look the same at all. Ichiro Suzuki after signing a two year deal in the offseason will play a huge majority of the games in right field. That move does not comes as much of a surprise after the loss of Nick Swisher to the Indians. Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner will likely switch fields after Gardner has proven to be the best centerfielder in baseball playing left field. This is not a slight on Granderson’s defense at all but with this move the Yankees are assembling one of the fastest and most proficient outfields in all of baseball.
3. Derek Jeter will have a very similar season to last year. After struggling in 2011 Jeter proved all critics wrong by coming out and leading the American League in hits and reinventing his career along the way. Now after coming off a broken ankle it is just another chance for Jeter to prove everyone wrong. Jeter will bat over .315 and pick up over 180 hits.
4. Alex Rodriguez will have litte to no impact on the season at large. ARod the scapegoat for Yankee playoff woes will have the worst offensive season of his career. Woth Youkilis coming off a decent stint with the White Sox hitting 15 HR and driving 46 in 80 games Youk will be the everyday third baseman all year. ARod will not be back until the at least the All Star Break and by then Youk will be solid at the hot corner.
5. Yankees will win the World Series over the Nationals in 6 games.
It should be a great season and the Yankees should come out on top. If they don’t the door may close on an era of greatness for Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitte.