ALDS Game 4 Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees
Once again the Yankees face elimination as they send Luis Severino to the hill with their season on the line.
In Game 3 of the ALDS, the New York Yankees needed to show desperation and forget about how they let Game 2 slip away. They did that and forced a Game 4 at Yankee Stadium. Greg Bird played the role of hero, hitting a clutch solo home run to extend the Yankees’ season and now they look to force a Game 5.
Pitching Matchup: Trevor Bauer (RHP) vs Luis Severino (RHP)
Trevor Bauer kept the Yankees’ bats in check in Game 1, where he held New York hitless until the sixth inning. Bauer kept the Yankees off guard all night, perfectly using his curveball that was practically unhittable when placed right on the corner. With his nasty curve, Bauer did a great job at mixing in his fastball to keep the Yankees’ bats off balance. Bauer will work on short rest and the Yankees hope that will make his pitches not as sharp as they were in Game 1.
Luis Severino will see action for the first time since October 3rd in the AL Wild Card game. The righty did not have his best stuff that night as his slider was consistently missing his location and his fastball was not as sharp as it has been during the regular season. The Yankees hope that Severino can give them what they saw during the regular season, where he emerged as the team’s ace and not the pitcher who lasted just one-third of an inning last Tuesday. Thanks to Masahiro Tanaka’s strong start in Game 3, the Yankees bullpen is well rested should Severino struggle in this one.
|Indians Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Francisco Lindor, SS||33||.273||.337|
|Jason Kipnis, CF||12||.232||.309|
|Jose Ramirez, 2B||29||.318||.374|
|Jay Bruce, RF||36||.254||.324|
|Carlos Santana, 1B||23||.259||.363|
|Austin Jackson, LF||7||.318||.387|
|Lonnie Chisenhall, DH||12||.288||.360|
|Giovanny Urshela, 3B||1||.224||.262|
|Roberto Perez, C||8||.207||.291|
|Yankees Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Brett Gardner, LF||21||.264||.350|
|Aaron Judge, RF||52||.284||.422|
|Gary Sanchez, C||33||.278||.345|
|Didi Gregorius, SS||25||.287||.318|
|Starlin Castro, 2B||16||.300||.338|
|Greg Bird, 1B||9||.190||.288|
|Aaron Hicks, CF||15||.266||.372|
|Chase Headley, DH||12||.273||.352|
|Todd Frazier, 3B||27||.213||.344|
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not
For the Yankees, Greg Bird has been their best hitter throughout the 2017 playoffs. Bird has homered in consecutive games and is hitting .308 this postseason. With the top of the lineup not being as productive as it has been towards the end of the regular season, Bird’s hot bat has been important and it will continue to be tonight. If Bird continues to swing a hot bat and the Yankees continue on this postseason, expect Joe Girardi to move his bat up in the lineup.
When the Cleveland Indians came into Yankee Stadium in early September, Jose Ramirez was struggling at the plate, until he faced Luis Severino. Ramirez has only 10 at-bats against Severino but he is hitting .300 with a pair of home runs off the Yankee flamethrower. After the Indians’ bats going silent in Game 3 against Masahiro Tanaka, expect the Indians and Ramirez to take a page out of the Minnesota Twins’ book and hunt for first-pitch fastballs against Severino. Lonnie Chisenhall also has good numbers against Severino, hitting .400 in just seven at-bats.
Prediction: Yankees 4 Indians 3
All the talk of if Luis Severino can handle the pressure of pitching in a postseason game will go away after Game 4. Severino will give the Yankees six innings allowing two runs and turn it over to the bullpen. The top of the Yankees lineup will finally wake up after struggling in the first three games of the series and the Yankees will force a Game 5 in Cleveland.
Where to Watch?
Weather permitting, game time is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST and can be seen on Fox Sports 1.