By: Billy Lewis
The Yankees 2020 season was up and down, to say the least. They ended the year going 2-5 against the Blue Jays and Marlins. That fall almost had the Yankees fall down to the eighth seed in the American League. However, the Blue Jays lost to the Orioles on the regular-season finale and the Bombers held onto the fifth seed.
The Cleveland Indians finished the regular season on a roll. Cleveland went 6-1 down the stretch against the White Sox and Pirates. This sets up the Yankees visiting Cleveland for the Wild Card best of three series. Game One will shape up to see Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole take the hill.
Bieber is the odds on favorite to win the AL Cy Young, and possibly the AL MVP as well. The Yankees will have their work ahead of them in Game One. Game Two should see Carlos Carrasco and Masahiro Tanaka. Since joining the Yankees in 2015, Tanaka has proven to be a big-game pitcher. Tanaka is 5-3 with a 1.76 ERA in the playoffs.
If the series gets to Game Three, the Indians would role out Zach Plesac. The Yankees would be most likely be choosing between JA Happ and Devi Garcia.
Yankees/Indians Recent Playoff History
The Yankees and Indians last played in the 2017 American League Division Series. The Indians took a 2-0 series lead in 2017, until Greg Bird and Tanaka shined in the Yankees 1-0 Game Three win. Of course, the Yankees would go on to win the next two games to advance to the American Championship League Series.
The Yankees will be looking to give the Indians the same fate. This season’s playoffs will be unique. If the series goes three games, all games will be played in Cleveland.
Game One should be a classic postseason pitcher’s duel. Bieber has been out of this world this season, and Cole is rounding out to be the Ace the Yankees thought they were signing this offseason. The Yankees have been a streaky team all year, they are due for another hot streak.