Tuesday's official playoff elimination for the Red Sox means that it's time to focus efforts on rooting against Boston's division rivals, but which of the two is more likely to have a deep playoff run?
The New York Yankees simply have not ended the year in the way that they began it. They've been beset by injury woes, and their starting rotation has gone from great to mediocre. Phil Hughes' form declined drastically as the second half progressed, Andy Pettitte missed nearly two months with injuries, Javier Vazquez pitched poorly enough to be relegated to the bullpen and A.J. Burnett has been close to following him down that path. Even Mariano Rivera hasn't been as dominant as he usually is.
Still, even if they are just one game above .500 since Aug. 1, they are still the Yankees. They have the best offense in the major leagues, and they are the defending champions. It's hard to discount their chances just because of the way they've finished the season.
Tampa Bay, too, hasn't kept up its blistering first-half pace. The Rays' struggles have come in nearly every phase of the game. They've had inconsistent pitching, and their offense has gone long stretches without scoring whatsoever. The Rays, though, have much more balance as a team than do the Yankees, and they seem to be built for playoff success — they excel in tense, low-scoring games.
So, who do you think will go further in the playoffs?
Text 'SOX1' to 542542 for the Yankees, or 'SOX2' to 542542 for the Rays.