We’ve nearly made it to the Postseason, and the Yankees are gearing up for war with Baseball’s best. Who should start Game One of a playoff series?
Sheesh, the Yankees have nearly made it to October.
The Yanks, as we all know have sprinted away with the American League East. Their magic number is down to just nine games, and considering there’s 16 games left, that lead is as safe as safe could be.
So let’s take the regular season and just forget it. Chuck it out the window. Yes, homefield advantage is still in play, I know, but I’m ready for Postseason Baseball. We’ve already discussed who will be the Yankees’ fourth outfielder in the october (thanks, Paraskevas), but I want to look at the pitching now. So, the question to be answered is a simple one. Friday, October 4th, game one of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium. Who gets the start?
This seems like the obvious option. Tanaka has proven himself in the postseason the past two seasons, and he appears to be the Yankees’ go to guy in a big game.
Tanaka has a career 1.50 ERA in five games (five starts) in his postseason career. 2017 was the year that stood out for the Japanese righty, however. He put up a 0.90 ERA in 20.0 innings. Perhaps his most noticeable start was Game 5 of the ALCS against Houston. Tanaka pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits, a walk, and striking out eight. The Yankees went on to win the game and take a 3-2 lead in the series.
Paxton has been dominant of late. A few weeks ago, Paxton was one of the week links in the Yankees’ rotation, but now, he’s a stalwart. in his last eight starts, Paxton has an ERA of 2.57 and is striking out 10.65 batters per nine innings (fangraphs).
This is what the Yankees and Brian Cashman dreamed about when they acquired Paxton from Seattle for Justus Sheffield and others. It appears that that deal is finally paying off, as it looks like Paxton has hit his stride at just the right time. Perhaps the Yankees go to Paxton in game one of the playoffs. He’s simply been their most consistent starter for over a month.
This one might sound like a head-scratcher, but hear me out: Domingo German has been absolutely AMAZING at home this season. He’s sporting a 2.35 ERA at The Stadium, compared to a 5.73 ERA on the road.
It would be far from surprising if the Yankees rolled the dice and went with German early in the series, mainly because of his phenomenal numbers at Yankee Stadium.
Who do the Yankees Start?
Personally, I see them going with Tanaka in game one. Tanaka, unlike Paxton and German, has pitched in the Postseason previously. I believe that this ends up being the ultimate decision from the Yankees, as they are comfortable with what Tanaka has brought to the table.