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New York Yankees vs. Cleveland: Series Preview

The Yankees are hitting the road for eight games, starting with a trip to Cleveland.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

After an awful previous week, the Yankees got somewhat back on track against the Braves, ending a five-game losing streak. (Although, things came back to earth the following night.) Now, it’s time for a road trip, beginning today at 6:10pm.

The Yankees are in Cleveland, kicking off a four-game set against a team they took on in the playoffs last season. Cleveland’s started off the season slightly better than the Yankees, coming in with an 8-8 record. On the other hand, they have been no-hit this season. While the Yankees’ offense has been annoying, that hasn’t happened so far.

Here’s a look at the pitching matchups we’ll see over the next couple days.

Thursday: Domingo Germán vs. Aaron Civale

With no off days until May 3rd, the Yankees have opted to bring back Germán from the alternate site. He ended up there in the first place after two bad starts to the season, allowing seven runs across them while not lasting past the fourth inning in either. Germán will almost certainly just replace Brooks Kriske on the roster after the reliever was optioned following Wednesday’s game against Atlanta.

Civale has gotten off to a very impressive start to the season, posting a 2.18 ERA in his three starts so far. Peripherals suggest he hasn’t been quite that good, but still, the Yankees’ offense has struggled against worse pitchers of late. The Yankees actually faced Civale in his fourth major league start back in 2019. They got him for two runs in the first inning and won the game, but he held them to just three runs in six innings.

Friday: Jordan Montgomery vs. Logan Allen

Montgomery’s two most recent appearances, both against the Rays, were less than stellar. In the most recent one, he allowed just two hits, but both of them went over the wall, giving Tampa Bay enough offense for a win.

Opposite of his teammate Civale, Allen has actually underperformed his peripherals so far. That’s mostly due to his last start, where after two scoreless innings, he allowed the first five batters to reach in the third, giving up three runs and getting himself removed from the game. Two more of the runners he left on scored, but thanks to errors, only two of the five runs credited to him were earned.

Saturday: Gerrit Cole vs. Shane Bieber

The Yankees will face Bieber for the first time since his AL Cy Young win last year. They did face him once when he was the expected winner of the award before it was announced, and that went quite well. In Game One of the Wild Card Series last year, the Yankees tagged him for seven runs on nine hits in just 4.2 innings. That came after Bieber had allowed 14 earned runs all year long in the abbreviated regular season.

On the other side of the matchup, the Yankees will ensure it’s the same pitching matchup from the playoff game. Cole was awesome last year in the Wild Card Series, allowing two runs while striking out 13 in seven innings against Cleveland. He’s been pretty awesome so far this year too, even if the offense let him down last time out.

Sunday: TBD vs. Triston McKenzie

At time of writing, the Yankees haven’t announced a starter for the series finale, but there are only a couple options it could be. Jameson Taillon would be the normal starter at that point in the rotation, but they didn’t announce him. That means it’s more likely to be some sort of bullpen game/opener situation.

McKenzie has had a very solid career so far, but this is the first time the Yankees will get a look at him. In his most recent outing, he struck out seven in five innings against the Reds while allowing just one run.