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Yankees Fans Were Worried About the Wrong Things

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On Friday night, the Yankees begin a nine-game stretch that will finish out their regular season and determine whether they qualify for the playoffs or whether their season will have been something of a disaster.

Back in March, the Yankees had been a popular pick to win the American League pennant, and merely making the postseason — not exactly a major accomplishment for this franchise — seemed like a foregone conclusion. They were seen as simply too deep to fail at that task. But with a little more than a week to go, they’re clinging to a one-game lead over Toronto for the second and final American Wild Card spot; their Fangraphs playoff odds, at this very moment, are at just 56.9 percent. It’s just about a coin flip right now whether the Yankees, who entered the season with the American League’s highest payroll and no shortage of hype, will avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in five years and just the fifth time since 1994.

It’s not like preseason predictions considered the Yankees an unstoppable juggernaut. In fact, forecasters typically zeroed in on two specific ways the season could go very, very wrong. But, as it turned out, neither of those fears has really come to pass.

One common concern was the team’s health, and especially that of its two most dangerous power hitters. Though the Yankees were expected to have one of the deepest lineups in baseball, the biggest of their many Big Boys were seen as........

© Daily Intelligencer

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