American League Division Series: Kansas City Royals (1) vs. New York Yankees (4)
Kansas City Royals
Having the best record in your league has its advantages, including home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It also means playing the Wild Card team on your turf, which helped players like Kendrys Morales bat .333 throughout the series while knocking in 8 RBI with 3 home runs. Salvador Perez was the means of scoring runs, with 7 throughout the series due to a .533 batting average. The pitching just wasn’t up to snuff, with pitchers like Edison “HBP” Volquez going only 5 innings and giving up 4 ER in the clinching game. A diminished bullpen did the team no favors, either.
New York Yankees
Continuing the trend, the New York Yankees brought the offense from the top of the lineup. Ellsbury’s OBP was close to .750 (!), Gardner batted .450 behind him and Alex Rodriguez managed 6 RBI with a normal batting average due to just how often the guys ahead of him were in scoring position. The late-inning guys in the bullpen always kept it close, with Betances and Shreve giving up 0 runs in 7.2 innings between the two. Weirdly enough, in the clinching game, Tanaka managed to give up 5 ER over 7.2 innings, with Girardi perhaps giving his taxed bullpen as much rest as possible with a huge lead.
New York Yankees 3 – Kansas City Royals 1
Next: American League Division Series Heads North