Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.25 ERA)
The Miami Marlins and New York Yankees close out the season with a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Rays, Blue Jays, and Yankees are all in the postseason. The Rays have clinched the AL East, while the Blue Jays and Yankees have clinched a wildcard. If the Yankees were a healthy team throughout the 2020 campaign, the Rays probably don’t celebrate a divisional championship.
It might have been a different story if this was a full season. Having said that, the Rays will go into the books as the American League East champions. Will that success translate over into the postseason? We’ll have to wait and see, but I wouldn’t disrespect them. The Yankees are stuck in a small bit of a mini funk at the moment. They enter off two losses. Neither game was really close, with the Yankees losing 14-1 and 4-1 for a combined score of 18-2.
The Blue Jays’ win last night clinched their postseason berth. That’s a big moment for a team that not many people took seriously. They were my first pick of the season, over the Rays, and I’ve believed in them for a while now, though. There was too much young talent, and adding Ryu to the rotation made it tough to discard them.
The Marlins are still fighting for their playoff lives going into Yankee Stadium. Their magic number of getting into the postseason is at two. Hurting their case right now is a four-game losing streak. They were able to end it last night with a 4-2 win over the Braves, but losing four games this late in the season doesn’t help.
It would be fitting if Don Mattingly clinches a postseason berth in the Bronx, a place he called home when he was a six-time All-Star as a Yankee. It’s not going to be easy. While the Yankees have clinched, they likely want to look a lot better than they did the last two days. There will be some motivation present. Head below for our free Marlins vs. Yankees pick for September 25, 2020.
Miami Marlins vs. New York Yankees MLB Betting Odds:
Miami Marlins vs. NY Yankees Prediction:
The Yankees need to put their last series quickly in the past. After destroying the Blue Jays, 12-1, the Yankees fell asleep at the wheel and the favor was returned over the next two days. The optimistic Yankee fan will tell you that they got the bad of the way at the perfect time. Get the losing out of the system before the postseason arrives.
Heading into the weekend, the Yankees need to build up some momentum at Yankee Stadium. They can’t treat this like a meaningless series. That kind of attitude could hurt them in the postseason. J.A. Happ has been able to rebuild his season following a slow start. In fact, he’s been one of the hottest pitchers in the majors recently.
Through his last six outings, Happ has notched an ERA of 1.93 after conceding 3 hits and 4 earned runs against the Phillies through 3 innings on August 5. In his previous three starts, Happ has netted an ERA of 1.40 and 0.78 WHIP. His effort at Yankee Stadium has been particularly impressive, with a 2.57 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
Sandy Alcantara will see the Yankees for the first time in his career. He’s been one of the more underrated pitchers in the majors. Alcantara has been in good form with an ERA of 3.12 and 1.21 WHIP. The opposition is hitting just .223 versus Alcantara through 34.2 innings of work.
The one concern I have with Alcantara recently is that plenty of hitters have reached base. Alcantara has conceded 17 hits and 6 walks in his last three games. Put runners on base and the Yankees can make pitchers pay with one swing of the stick.
The Marlins are going to be motivated to play well today, but the same could be said for the Yankees. Toronto just punched them in the mouth the last two games. I think the Yanks come out with some fire on Friday night at home against the Marlins.