2006_04_syankeeslogo.jpgThe Yankees head into the season hoping to capture their 27th World Championship. Once again they have the highest payroll in baseball and once again anything less than total victory will be a failure in the eyes of their bombastic owner.

Offensively, the Yankees should score close to 900 runs. Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter will set the table for A Rod, Matsui, Sheffield and Giambi. Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Robinson Cano fill out the bottom third of the lineup. While it remains to be seen if Williams has anything left, the rest of the lineup will be dangerous.

It is the pitching that will determine how far the Yankees will go this year and there are plenty of questions about this staff. Randy Johnson is 42, how much longer can he keep on dominating? Mike Mussina was hurt last year; will he be able to stay healthy? Will we ever see Carl Pavano pitch for the Yankees again? Can Kyle Farnsworth replace Tom Gordon?

This team is still good enough to overcome the shaky pitching in the regular season, but the postseason is a different story. Barring a big trade for a pitcher, Gothamist sees a repeat of 2005 with the Yankees battling the Red Sox all season for the division title before winning it on the final weekend and then exiting the playoffs in the first round.