Even though the Yankees will welcome the Los Angeles Angels into town without the games’ best player, there are still plenty of exciting aspects of this upcoming 3-game series.
The Yankees open a 3-game series in the Bronx on Tuesday against the Mike Trout-less Angels—a team that had already lost their 2nd biggest star in Shohei Ohtani for the season with a knee injury. Couple that with the fact that the Angels are already mathematically eliminated from the postseason, one would expect a very uneventful slate of games. However, with the return of the Yankees 2018 ace in Luis Severino and a chance to clinch the division banner as early as Wednesday, this series is a must-watch.
Game 1 – Tuesday, September 17
Probable Pitching Matchup: Jose Suarez (2-6) vs. Luis Severino (Season Debut)
It is finally happening. Yankees fans have waited 173 days to see Luis Severino take the mound in the 2019 season—on Tuesday, that wait will finally be over. The 2018 ace of the staff has been on the Injured List since March 21st when he missed a start in Spring Training due to shoulder soreness. All of Yankee nation, including myself, assumed it was just a precautionary measure and that we would see him toe the rubber on Opening Day just one week later. That, unfortunately, wasn’t the case and we have had to watch 151 games before seeing Sevy back on the bump. The 2018 Cy Young hopeful told reporters to “expect the same electric stuff” he put on full display last season and I cannot wait to see it.
Game 2 – Wednesday, September 18
Probable Pitching Matchup: Dillon Peters (3-3) vs. CC Sabathia (5-8)
What is so exciting about a Sabathia/Peters matchup you ask? Well as of today, the Yankees magic number sits at 3—which means the 2019 ‘Savages’ can win their first AL East Division title since 2012 as early as Wednesday with 2 wins and a Tampa Bay Rays loss or vice versa. I can already picture the champagne spraying in the home clubhouse and although the division is not even close to the ultimate goal of this team, the first AL East crown in 7 years is going to taste quite sweet.
Game 3 – Thursday, September 19
Probable Pitching Matchup: Andrew Heaney (4-5) vs. J.A. Happ (12-8)
Obviously if things do not go as we hoped initially, this is a good backup plan for clinching the division title; however, it is also another chance for Happ to showcase why he should be a part of the postseason rotation. It has been a less than an ideal season, to say the least for the 36-year-old who currently has a 5.07 ERA and 1.33 WHIP but he has shown signs of turning it around in his last three starts allowing only 2 earned runs in 17 innings. The poor season from the left-hander has only been exemplified even more by the year Patrick Corbin is having with the Nationals after the Yankees decided to sign Happ instead of Corbin this offseason. However, if he can close the book on this horrific regular season and help the Yankees in the postseason, I can promise you all will be forgiven by the Yankee faithful.