Once upon a time, the 2022 New York Yankees seemed destined to challenge the all-time wins record, and were feted as the team that, unlike their 2017 and 2019 predecessors, could finally chop up the Houston Astros like a food processor.
Once upon a more recent time, back in August, the 2022 New York Yankees seemed destined to be chewed up and spit out like a bad grape long before ever having a chance to avenge their Astros issues in the Championship Series.
Then came one more hot streak, which propelled the Yankees back into the ALCS conversation, according to many prognosticators just before the playoffs were set to begin.
That “conversation” did not go well for them, though.
Searching the internet prior to the Yankees’ ALDS battle beginning, it seems plenty of people believe Aaron Boone’s bunch has the juice to advance, but not enough juice to be a serious threat to the juggernaut Astros.
And yes, almost everyone believes the Astros will be winning their first-round series, too, though it certainly feels good to hold onto that particular pipe dream as long as possible.
Yankees Playoff Predictions: Most experts see Astros ALCS loss
Everywhere you look, it seems, people believe this October will give America yet another instance of Dusty Baker’s 106-win Astros running over the Yankees en route to a shot at the World Series, where they’re more than likely to encounter a coin flip against either the Braves or Dodgers.
FanGraphs threw the Mets in there, too, believing the Yankees to have a worse shot at reaching the Series than their neighbors in Queens.
Other than that … trailing the Astros yet again, as we’ve grown accustomed to.
What about the folks over at SNY?
This might surprise you, but here’s where you’ll find the most optimistic Yankees projection on the internet — outside of pitching guru Tom House, who’s anticipating a Yankees-Dodgers battle.
Unfortunately, it comes from Sal Licata, who famously declared the NL East “over” 100 different times this season. It was very much not over. Licata foresees a Yankees-Mets Subway Series, which would be great if he had any history of making accurate predictions.
Enough of the local media. Let’s check in on the ESPN staff!
Oh, wait, let’s not …
Even the digital algorithms are against the Yankees. The folks over at MLB The Show simmed over 1,000 possible playoff permutations, and wound up with an Astros ALCS victory (four games to one) over the Yanks as the most likely outcome.
Of course, Digital Aroldis Chapman probably blew at least 750 of those.
What else, what else …
Oh, this one will stun you. Ben Verlander picked his brother’s Astros, probably because he could not pick Shohei Ohtani’s Angels.
The Yankees are widely expected to wade through the playoff bracket, but won’t shock the world by sending a Houston juggernaut packing.
Unless … you believe …