Game 1 start is why Yankees traded for Sonny Gray

Andrew Miller

If the Cleveland lineup can score two, three, or even four runs off of the starting pitcher, that will provide a cushion for the Indians starter and bullpen later in the game.

The Indians are the Las Vegas favorite to win the game on October 5.

The Yankees come into the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians with a bullpen that was forced to pitch over eight innings after Luis Severino's shortcomings as a starter. Cleveland finished the 2017 regular season winning 33 of their final 37 games.

"For whatever reason, it took us a while to get - whether it's your rhythm, whether it's your footing", Indians manager Terry Francona said. Carlos Beltran goes deep twice, giving him 18 postseason homers in his career - the same as another switch-hitter, Mickey Mantle, in a similar number of games (although Mantle hit all of his in the World Series, of course). He's 2-4 with a 3.81 FIP and 2.21 ERA in 6 road starts as a Yankee.

"He's been one of the better pitchers in the league", Francona said.

"The expectations were obviously set from last year's experience and accomplishments", said veteran right fielder Jay Bruce, who was acquired in a waiver-wire trade late in the season and like everyone else on the roster, is in pursuit of his first world championship.

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Following the three run first inning, Brett Garnder hit a solo home run to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.

According to Fangraphs, the Cubs have a 10.9 percent chance of winning the World Series, the lowest percentage of any division-winning team. The Twins did not go down without a fight, however, as the club got off to a hot start only to have the Yankees match. It would also nearly immediately begin all sorts of "a new dynasty?" talk, considering all the young players on the Yankees (and all the ones who are coming).

The Indians are trying to do something that only four teams have done in the last 50 years - win the World Series one year after losing it. Yan Gomes could start Game 2 with Corey Kluber getting the ball. Following a sluggish start, Indians (102-60) grabbed control of the AL Central on June 26, went 55-20 after the All-Star break and ran away to a second straight division title. NY is patient at the plate, athletic on the bases and in the field and always aggressive. Now, he is back in the postseason for the first time in 2014.

"I've pretty much given up on it so I've started the process of building a new one", Bauer told reporters on Wednesday.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi expected to see Kluber in Game 1. But the most important part of the season begins today, and this team knows that. "I think ours is maybe the only other bullpen that could handle something like that". (It's still a little fantastic that Francisco Lindor didn't deposit one of those weak Aroldis Chapman sliders into the seats of a delirious Progressive Field crowd.) They have perhaps the best team in 50 years.

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