Yankees use LeBron James to troll the Indians ahead of ALDS

Yankees use LeBron James to troll the Indians ahead of ALDS”

Francona is taking a gamble in the opener and starting Trevor Bauer, a 17-game victor during the regular season, in Game 1 instead of Kluber, who will start Game 2.

After a dramatic American League Wild Card Game, the New York Yankees will take on the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.

Yankees ace Luis Severino started the AL wild-card game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, making him unavailable for a Game 1 start.

The Yankees announced that Sonny Gray will pitch Game 1 Thursday night and CC Sabathia will pitch Game 2 on Sunday night. Trevor Bauer gets the call in Game 1; Jays fans will remember him as the bloody pinkie guy from Game 3 of the 2016 ALCS. That might not have been true if the Dodgers had stayed on pace for 115 wins, but not only did they fade down the stretch, but they were nearly caught by both the Astros and last year's hard luck World Series loser the Cleveland Indians. A team many believe is the most complete in the playoffs, not to mention they did have a 22-game winning streak during the regular season.

A year ago the Cubs were considered the betting favorites to win the title after finishing with the best record in baseball, and that's exactly what they did as they won their first championship since 1908. Obviously, we're going to have to play our best.

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"We have a really healthy respect for their bullpen, and they showed exactly what they can do", Francona told David Lennon of Newsday.

If the Astros win: Verlander went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in five starts with the Astros, so if they win it probably means he pitched well, a good sign for the rest of the postseason that his September run wasn't just a result of facing some struggling offenses (four of his five starts came against the Mariners and Angels). "He's bad for the teams you're playing against", Francona said on Wednesday. I know, if you throw it in the wrong place, he's going to hit it a long way. NY led the league with 241 home runs (Cleveland 212), while the Indians finished with a better team batting average (.263 to.262) and higher slugging percentage (.449 to.447). Including his time with Oakland, the 27-year-old right-hander was 1-2 with a 4.86 ERA in three starts against Cleveland this season. They've got a good lineup, as well. But if they want me to start, I'll be ready for that, too.

So how do you pick a victor of this series when they both can hit and pitch well?

The Cavs superstar even suggested that the Indians could win 40 games after they set a new American League record when they beat the Tigers, 5-3, for their 21st consecutive win. Indeed, Cleveland featured the best pitching staff in the entire game, allowing a major league-low 3.48 runs per contest.

On the other side of the coin, if Yankees manager Joe Girardi can get some good outings out of his starters he has a bullpen that has been close to unbeatable so far in 2017. The New York Yankees' bullpen may in fact be the X factor that gets them deep into October. He can run a little bit, puts the ball in play, and has power. "They can do a lot of different things offensively". Didi Gregorius followed Brett Gardner's six-pitch walk and Aaron Judge's flare single to center with a one-out, three-run homer.

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