Starting Pitchers

Liam Hendricks vs. Luis Severino

To the surprise of many, Aaron Boone named Luis Severino his starter for the winner takes all matchup. This season was a tale of two different seasons for the 24-year-old ace.

Severino’s first half was dominant. He posted CY Young type numbers going 14-2 with a 2.31 ERA. But, the second half was not as kind to Severino who had a 5.57 ERA in 12 starts after the all-star break.

Despite the struggles, there were some bright spots for him down the stretch. He gave the Yankees a seven inning, one run, and six strikeouts performance against the Boston Red Sox in a big September matchup. That start, he looked more and more like the pitcher the Yankees know he can be. He finished the month with just 19 earned runs, nine less than what he had in the month of August, and 10 less than what he allowed in July.

Severino is not a stranger to the Wild Card game. He got the ball in 2017 when the Yankees beat the Twins 8-4. It did not go very well for him only lasting one-third of an inning and allowing three runs early. Manager Aaron Boone feels that was just a one-game moment and feels he’ll be just fine this year.

This season against Oakland, Severino is 1-1 in two starts, allowing seven runs (six earned) in 8.2 innings.

For Oakland, they will be making history in this matchup. For the first time, the opener will make its way into a playoff game. Liam Hendriks will get the nod to start. This season he is 0-1 with a 4.13 ERA but, in his last seven appearances (four of them starts) he has not allowed a run in 7.1 innings.

Hendriks might be the perfect guy to get things started for the A’s considering that he has an average exit velocity of 88.3 and a hard hit percentage of 34.3 percent (according to MLB). With the Yankees power heavy lineup, he might be the one to keep them off balanced.

Once Hendriks’ night is over, the A’s have a bullpen that can get the job done, the only question becomes, can everyone be at their “A” game all at once in an elimination game?

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.