With game one of the ALDS on Friday, we break down how things will shape up for the Yankees as they look to advance past the rival Red Sox onto the ALCS.
The outcome of Wednesday night’s AL Wild Card game was almost perfectly scripted for the New York Yankees. Tremendous pitching from Luis Severino and the bullpen. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both crushed their first homers of the postseason. And most important, they beat the A’s 7-2 to advance onto what will be an electric ALDS with Boston.
Take a look solely at regular season performance, and the 108-win Red Sox would be the clear favorite to take this series. However, baseball is all about momentum, and Aaron Boone’s Yankees are feeling just about as confident as a team could heading in. With game one on Friday, we’re going to break down how things will shape up for the Yankees.
This is surely set up to be a series for the ages. 2018 was the first year in history that the Yankees and Red Sox both won 100+ games in the regular season and now they are getting ready to lock horns in the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
Bring on Boston. pic.twitter.com/1CNfl1m898
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 4, 2018
The last time the Yankees played the Red Sox in the playoffs was 14 years ago in the 2004 ALCS when they blew a crushing 3-0 lead to Boston. However, that is way behind New York and they are ready to head four hours up north and get the job done.
Luis Severino – RHP
J.A Happ – LHP
Masahiro Tanaka – RHP
CC Sabathia – LHP
Lance Lynn – RHP*
*Will come out of the bullpen
Stephen Tarpley – LHP
Jonathan Holder – RHP
Chad Green – RHP
David Robertson – RHP
Dellin Betances – RHP
Zach Britton – LHP
Aroldis Chapman – LHP
Game One at Fenway Park – October 5, 7:32 PM EST on TBS
Chris Sale LHP (12-4, 2.11 ERA) VS. J.A. Happ LHP (17-6. 3.65 ERA)
In Game one of this highly anticipated series, the Yankees and Red Sox will pit two of their best left-handers against each other. J.A. Happ will be taking the mound for the Yankees and will be looking to build onto his outstanding career success against the boys from Beantown.
Since joining the Yankees at the trade deadline, Happ has been the definition of impressive. He is undefeated since coming to New York, going 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA. He has loads of postseason experience under his belt as well so the moment should not be too big for him.
Going for the Red Sox will be Chris Sale, who despite having a successful season, has had his struggles as of late due to injury problems. His velocity has been significantly lower in the month of September after coming back from the DL, so it is unknown which version of Chris Sale the Yankees should be seeing.
Last year when the Red six faced the Astros, Sale lost each of his two starts against Houston and was very unimpressive, to say the least. We will see if the Yankees are able to make his postseason struggles a pressing issue.
Game Two at Fenway Park – October 6, 8:15 PM EST on TBS
David Price LHP (16-7, 3.58 ERA) VS. Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.75 ERA)
Going in Game Two for the Yankees will be their reliable right-hander, Masahiro Tanaka. He struggled this past season while facing the Red Sox, but based on his big-game ability and Postseason success, Yankees fans should have no concerns. In four career Postseason appearances, Tanaka sports a 1.44 ERA.
David Price will be taking the mound for the Red Sox and as everyone knows, Price has a deep-rooted issue about facing the Yankees as well as pitching in the playoffs.
In his career come October, Price has a very unimpressive 5.03 ERA, which is brutal for a pitcher who pitches pretty well during the regular season. The Yankees seemingly have his number every time they face-off, so we will see how things play out combining that with his Postseason struggles.
Game Three at Yankee Stadium – October 8, 7:40 PM EST on TBS
Rick Porcello RHP (17-7, 4.28 ERA) VS. TBD
Game Four at Yankee Stadium* – October 9, 8:07 PM EST on TBS
Nathan Eovaldi RHP (6-7, 3.81 ERA) VS. TBD
Game Five at Fenway Park* – October 11, 7:40 PM EST on TBS
TBD VS. TBD
The time has finally come for the Yankees to return back the American League Division Series and going up against the Boston Red Sox, anything can happen.
It is very possible the series could easily go either way based on the success of both teams, but the Yankees have to have a slight edge. However, New York has a deeper lineup than the Red Sox, a better bullpen, and a starting rotation with fewer question marks.
Expect a big series from Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ on the pitching side of things as well as the hot bats in Aaron Judge and Luke Voit. They will be coming fresh off an exhilarating Wild Card victory and will be looking to keep riding their recent wave of success.
Verdict: The Yankees defeat the Red Sox 3-1 and move onto the ALCS for the second straight year.