One way or the other, this ALDS will see a massive shift in momentum and odds after tonight, with one team guaranteed to be one win away from advancing. After yesterday’s sleepy 4-2 loss to the Guardians, the onus will be on the Yankee offense to secure the second win of the series, even if Luis Severino will command most of the attention.
Sevy’s made three starts since returning from a lat issue, and has been absolute dynamite in those outings. A 1.69 ERA and 1.93 FIP will play in any rotation, especially when backed up by a strikeout rate over 30 percent. His last start saw Severino throw seven no-hit innings, allowing just a single walk against the Texas Rangers. It’s been a rocky year for the right-hander, but he’s rounding into form at just the right time and should be a tough task for the Guardians today.
Of course, the other man on the mound is just as good. Triston McKenzie goes for Cleveland, making his second start of the postseason after an excellent regular season where he posted a 2.96 ERA over 191.1 innings. His playoff start against the Rays last week was a six-inning, no-run affair, and although his strikeout rates don’t pop off the chart, he’s among the best in baseball at leveraging his unorthodox body type. Few pitchers get more extension than McKenzie, so his 93-mph fastball appears quicker because he’s relatively closer to the plate at release than most pitchers.
Both of these guys are among the most fun pitchers to watch, aesthetically, so we should be in for a good one. Just like yesterday though, this game will come down to the Yankees clubbing a few balls over the fence, and that has to be the focus at Progressive Field. Aaron Judge moves out of the leadoff spot in a clear attempt to shake him out of this mini-slump he’s found himself in this series.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:37 pm ET
TV broadcast: TBS
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380