Yankees best choices for assembling a playoff pitching rotation
ALDS Game 4 & 5
If a Game 4 is necessary, which is likely to happen, I propose that C.C. Sabathia be on the mound.
The big lefty brings poise and composure to the “Baby Bombers,” who would be looking to either finish off the Red Sox by the time this contest rolls around or are looking to hold on for dear life.
Being that the only other options to pitch this game would be Sonny Gray or Tanaka — and Tanaka would be on short rest due to pitching the Wild Card Game, I think Sabathia is the more sound option.
Sabathia, another ground ball pitcher, has this on his side against a power hitting Red Sox team.
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Also, Xander Bogaerts (.152 BA), J.D. Martinez (.143 BA) and Andrew Benintendi (.222 BA) all hit significantly worse against Sabathia — as well as some other less prominent Sox players.
Game 5 defaults back to Masahiro Tanaka. I purposely have not included Sonny Gray in my Postseason rotation. I think he is too inconsistent to be relied upon for a quality start, but if needed can be called upon in relief, especially if any starters’ outings go south.
By far, Tanaka has the worst stats against the Red Sox among the Yankees’ staff. This includes a 6.60 ERA, a 1.733 WHIP and a .328 BAA.
But Tanaka does cause a good amount of ground balls: 1.41 groundballs to every one fly ball — and as I went over previously, Tanaka has looked good of late.
Hopefully, the Yanks can finish off the Sox without the need of Tanaka here but if not, we’re still in good hands.