Tale of the Tape Breakdown: Playoff Contenders, Mariners vs Yankees
A few years ago, an article series like this would have seemed like a waste of time. Before 2022, comparing the Seattle Mariners to anyone other than the worst teams in baseball was a waste of time. Now? Now things are different. In part 7 of an 8 part series, I'm going to take a look at the teams that could potentially stand in the Mariners way of not only making the postseason but winning the American League.
Today, we'll take a look at the old evil empire, the New York Yankees. When 2022 began, the Yankees looked like a team that was finally ready to overcome the Houston Astros. Being 0-3 to Houston in the past few seasons, there was a focus to dominate and get home-field advantage, unlike anything we had ever seen in MLB history. Behind the historic power of Aaron Judge, some surprising bounce-back seasons from Anthony Rizzo and Matt Carpenter, and a dominant pitching staff, the Yankees sat at 61-23 on July 8th. With a 6.5-game lead for the #1 seed in the American League, a 15.5-game lead in the East, and on pace to win 118 games, the collapse that ensued was stunning, to say the least.
In the final 78 games, the Yankees looked like a team that didn't belong in October. They finished 38-40 and failed to win 100 games. While they held on to win the division, they fell behind Houston by 7 games, losing home-field advantage. In October, the Guardians took the Yankees to 5 games, before New York finally overpowered them, setting up a 4th playoff matchup with Houston since 2015. As many expected, the Yankees were no match, being easily swept by the eventual champs.
While New York and the Mariners had their seasons end in a very similar fashion, it was the manner in which it happened. The Mariners are ascending, while the Yankees are desperately trying to get past Houston one time and get a title before things get dark in the Boone/Judge/Cole era.