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The only time of year that matters in the Bronx has arrived. While they won’t admit it publicly, the Yankees have to be thrilled by the makeup of these playoffs. Sitting at home are the perennially tough Angels, the gritty White Sox and the always-dangerous Red Sox. In their place are the Tigers, Twins and A’s, not cupcakes, but not on the same level.

New York will face a Tigers team that simply collapsed down the stretch. After surprising everyone and jumping out to a huge division lead, the Tigers played under .500 baseball for the last two months of the year and gave away the division championship when they were swept by the Royals to finish the regular season.

This series will come down to how well Detroit pitches. The Yankees have one of the best lineups ever assembled and they can score runs in bunches. Robertson, Verlander and Bonderman need to figure out how to reverse their second half slides and get the ball to the impressive Joel Zumaya. But a team that relies on Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones in big spots doesn’t seem capable of beating the Yankees. Gothamist thinks New York takes the series in four.

Photo by AP/Kathy Willens