Yankees To Go With Gray And Sabathia In ALDS Games 1 & 2

Alex Rodriguez came up big with a game-tying ninth-inning blast in Game 1 in 2009

Yankees ace Luis Severino started the AL wild-card game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, making him unavailable for a Game 1 start. The New York Yankees (+1400) stack up well against the Minnesota Twins (+2800) in the wild-card game.

Instead, it will be New York's Sonny Gray vs. Cleveland's Trevor Bauer in Game 1 on Thursday. If the Indians met the Cubs again in the World Series, what better story could be written than the Indians winning the World Series against the same team they came agonizingly close to beating past year?

The Indians went 5-2 against the Yankees this year.

"We were part of that (streak)".

The absence of Frazier and Wade leaves the Yankees with just four outfielders for the ALDS - Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks. The Indians were dominant late in the year, with an AL-record winning streak stretching from late August and through most of September, but NY played.605 ball in the second half themselves, winning 20 of 28 in the month of September.

"Tanaka, we don't want him to go too long [without pitching]", Girardi said. "I'm excited to take them on ... and I think we're more than capable of getting the job done".

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The Cleveland Indians finished the season about as well as any team could ever expect.

"I know, if you throw in the wrong place, he's going to hit it a long way".

In eight career regular-season starts against The Tribe, Gray is 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA. We saw on Tuesday night that the Yankees go about six-deep in their bullpen, and you can be sure that every time NY gets a lead, Girardi will not hesitate to go to his team's biggest advantage. Against New York this season, Bauer went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA and Kluber was 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. They've got a good lineup, as well. I liked them because they gave me hope of being a victor. They are really well balanced. They have all prepared for being asked to operate as firemen this postseason, but this is still somewhat uncharted territory regarding which pitchers can handle it, and how much they can handle it without training for it since the minor leagues. He's still their best starter, but suffice it to say, you're typically expecting more than a third of an inning from your ace in the postseason. The results in those outings: 115 strikeouts in 84.2 innings pitched, with a minuscule 2.76 ERA. That could end up being in Arizona's wheelhouse since power threats such as 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 3B Mike Lamb and RF J.D. Martinez make them one of baseball's best teams at hitting against high velocity. "They can do a lot of things offensively, and they're well balanced".

"I wasn't nervous past year because I've been in the postseason in high school, college and the minor leagues", Bauer said.

"None of that matters for this start", he said.

Going into last year's playoffs, it was clear that the Cubs were the team to watch, and to beat. The Melodrama of it coming down to a one run game seven after being down 3-1 in the series only heightened the lasting memory of all of last season up till the final pitch being about Chi Town and nothing else.

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