Tanaka to start Game 1 of ALCS for Yankees
Masahiro Tanaka will start Game 1 of the AL Championship Series for the New York Yankees against Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros on Friday night.
The Yankees announced the decision Thursday and also set the rotation for the next three games.
New York’s Luis Severino will pitch Game 2 on Saturday against Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia gets the nod to start Game 3 on Monday in New York, and Sonny Gray will start Game 4 on Tuesday.
The Astros have not announced their starters for Games 3 and 4.
The Cleveland Indians won 102 games in the regular season, strung together the AL’s longest winning streak ever and entered the postseason as the league’s top seed in a four-week tournament where the madness can match anything that happens in March.
The postseason will go on without them after a 5-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the AL Division Series.
While All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and MVP candidate Jose Ramirez represent the team’s youthful core, the Indians have major offseason decisions to make with some important veterans like outfielder Michael Brantley, pitcher Josh Tomlin and first baseman Carlos Santana. Jay Bruce, whose acquisition in an August trade made the club stronger, will hit the free agent market, as will dependable relievers Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith.
Brantley’s situation is the most delicate. The team has a $12 million contract option on the 30-year-old for 2018 and must weigh whether he’s worth it after being limited to 101 games over the past two seasons because of injuries.
Masahiro Tanaka is doused in Wednesday’s celebration. The pitcher, who got the Yankees jump-started with seven shutout innings in Game 3 of the ALDS, will start Game 1 of the ALCS.