James Paxton
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New York Yankees left-hander James Paxton will start Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Minnesota Twins.

On Thursday, Meredith Marakovits of YES Network reported that left-hander James Paxton will start for the New York Yankees on Friday. Right-handers Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino will start Games 2 and 3, respectively.

Paxton appeared in 29 games for the Yankees this season, all starts. He finished with a record of 15-6 with an ERA of 3.82 and a WHIP of 1.281. Paxton struck out 186 batters and walked 55 through 150.2 innings pitched.

He struggled to start the season, but over his final 11 starts, Paxton pitched to a 2.51 ERA. The decision to feature his knucklecurve more was a catalyst in Paxton’s second-half resurgance.

Tanaka finished 11-9 with an ERA of 4.45 and a WHIP of 1.242 through 32 games (31 starts). Severino was 1-1 with an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.000 through three games (three starts).

It was initially an idea that the Yankees could utilize openers for the ALDS, to the point where they used Tanaka out of the bullpen in their final regular-season game against the Texas Rangers last weekend.

The Yankees are the two-seed in the AL postseason, having finished 103-59. The AL Central-winning Twins will look to upend the favored Yankees. The American League will also consist of a division series between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays. The latter defeated the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild Card game on Wednesday by a score of 5-1.

New York and the Twins will begin their impending playoff series this Friday at Yankee Stadium at 7:07 p.m. ET.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.