James Paxton is scheduled to start Game One of the ALDS, Aaron Bone confirmed to members of the media on Thursday morning. This comes as no surprise, as the Yankees used the final week of the regular season to line up Paxton for the series opener.
Paxton, 30, pitched to a 3.82 ERA (3.86 FIP) across 150.2 innings in 2019. The left-hander got off to a blazing start, landed on the injured list, then pitched ineffectively for the rest of the first half. Once the calendar flipped to August, however, Big Maple regained his frontline form. The southpaw went 10-0 in 11 games down the stretch, logging a 2.51 ERA (3.26 FIP) with a strong 10.18 K/9 rate.
Interestingly enough, Paxton had significant home-road splits this season. He pitched far better at Yankee Stadium than at visiting ballparks. The left-hander sported a 3.35 ERA (3.62 FIP) in the Bronx, while on the road, he owned a 4.33 ERA (4.12 FIP). With home-field advantage in the series, it makes sense to give him the ball at Yankee Stadium.
When the Yankees acquired Paxton last November, they had envision him as a Game One type of starter. Now he gets a chance to prove that. After Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka will follow in Game Two, then Luis Severino on the road for Game Three.
James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino will be the Yankees’ ALDS starters, in that order.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 3, 2019
Also of note: CC Sabathia will not make the ALDS roster, as he is dealing with a balky shoulder, per Boone.
We’ll have a more detailed soon. For now, though, it’s interesting to see how the rotation shaped up.