Yankees vs Indians: The Big Bullpen Hypothesis

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Johan Santana shut down the Yanks in Game of the 2003 ALDS but wasn't as successful in Game 4

[UPDATE] - The Yankees also announced Masahiro Tanaka will start Game 3, with Luis Severino starting Game 4, if necessary.

Thee New York Yankees advanced to the ALDS thanks to their 8-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card game on Tuesday.

NY is going with Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55) in game one, while the Indians are planning to go with Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19). Even after they finally suffered a loss on September 15, the defending AL champs ended the year with 11 wins in 14 games, winning 102 total games. Houston's 101-61 SU season wound up getting overshadowed by Cleveland's brilliant play down the stretch, but the Astros finished the year on a 14-3 SU run of their own and are the third favorite on the board to win the World Series at +500.

As a result, the Indians are brimming with confidence and should they eliminate the Yankees will face either the AL East champion Boston Red Sox or a Houston Astros team that won the AL West by a 21-game margin.

"We've kind of been the underdogs all year and we're still here", Gardner said Wednesday night after the Yankees' worked out at Progressive Field in preparation of Thursday night's series opener. "They've really been on a roll the last 50, 60 games, playing as well as anyone".

The Yankees finished the regular season winning 20 of their last 28 games - pretty good, but not as good as the Indians' 33-4 sprint to the finish line. Much higher than they once were. "I know if you throw it in the wrong place, he's going to hit it a long way". But in the previous five seasons of the new Wild Card system, home teams were 3-7 with five shutout losses.

Torey Lovullo, who guided Arizona to the postseason in his first year after taking over as manager, was previously a bench coach for the Red Sox. They are really well balanced. Here's a list of them all - and what would make each of them noteworthy.

Gray came over to the Yankees at the trade deadline in a deal with the A's for multiple prospects. Andrew Miller has already shown what kind of impact he can make on a series out of the bullpen and Cody Allen is lights out in the ninth inning.

The Cubs won't go down easily because they'll be looking to repeat, which is why they acquired Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15 ERA) to propel their chances.

The Minnesota Twins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and had two runners in scoring position when Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to make a change.

However, if Sabathia gets shelled and the Yankees lose, well, they were going up against Kluber and probably would've lost even if CC gave up just a few runs.

"It will be curious to see how Bauer reacts in that", Pluto said.

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