They won't have an easy first matchup against the Boston Red Sox, who boast the league's best defense. Although LeBron is an Akron-native he grew up rooting for the Yankees, and has been vocal in his support of the Indians, especially since their success has risen over the last couple of seasons. The Red Sox may not be the favorite to win this series and they may not have a better team on paper, but their fans are hoping their lineup can grind out a few runs and that their ace Chris Sale can dominate the Astros lineup a couple of times in this series.
Indians manager Terry Francona took a gamble, going with starting pitcher Trevor Bauer instead of ace Corey Kluber.
The Major League Baseball is in the home stretch of the regular season.
There aren't many pitchers in the game right now you'd feel more confident sending to the hill than Kluber. James has gone on record by saying he's still a Yankees fan after all these years despite his recent rallying for the Indians. Joe Girardi's club did not capitalize. They blew the doors off the competition after the midseason break with a 55-20 mark.
Bauer held the Yankees hitless and scoreless through the first five innings.
The pick here is the Indians in six games in what should be a compelling series.
Kluber walked All-Star Aaron Judge then Gary Sanchez homered to center. This all-or-nothing existence can be problematic in the postseason. He went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA following a Yankee loss, and the left-hander will have to be that good, if not better, in order to give NY a chance Friday night.
Altuve is one of the two leaders in the AL in the MVP race.
Off the disabled list for a month after being hampered by a lower back strain, Kluber finished off a strong performance throughout the month of June with a 12-strikeout showing over eight innings of work in a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on June 29.
Tonight the Yankees will begin their ALDS series against the Cleveland Indians, but to get here, they had to find their way past the Minnesota Twins in the Wildcard Game. The veteran lefty has been reliable and a facsimile of his old self but is simply not the shutdown guy he once was.
Bauer stopped the Bronx Bombers in their tracks. Getting to Bauer was their best hope and they left hopeless.
With a 1-0 lead in the series and Sale behind them, the Astros are in excellent shape moving forward. This is the sixth time that the Yankees have reached the postseason since Yankee Stadium's opening in 2009. ("Progressive" being a relative term.) But there are a couple of meaningful caveats to note there: first, that half the games we've seen so far have been wild card contests with winner-take-all stakes that obviously shift priorities, and second, that yanking a starter who's having a disastrous night isn't so much forward-thinking relief strategy as it is simple damage control.
The Yankees are in deep trouble and in great peril. The Yankees' Luis Severino retired just one batter.
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