The New York Yankees are gearing up for a Do or Die Game 5 of the ALDS on Tuesday afternoon. However, the team has already selected their starter for Game 1 of the ALCS, given they push past the Cleveland Guardians to take on the Houston Astros.
Given the recent usage of Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortés starting on Tuesday, and Luis Severino still needing a few more days to rest, the Bombers will utilize Jameson Taillon against Houston if they make it to the ALCS.
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The Yankees will need Jameson Taillon to step up big:
Taillon was expected to pitch Game 5 on Monday night before rain forced a postponement. The 30-year-old starter is coming off a regular season where he pitched 177.1 innings, earning a 3.91 ERA, 7.66 strikeouts per nine, a 75.3% left on-base rate, and a 40.1% ground ball rate. He made one relief appearance against Cleveland, giving up a few runs on weak contact.
Manager Aaron Boone would rather have Nestor Cortés start the game, given his strikeout numbers are a bit more proficient, and has already gone through the lineup in Game 2. Cortés pitched five innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs, but on short rest, he will be looking to help his team in the biggest moment of the season.
With Taillon already being penciled in for Game 1 against Houston, the pressure is mounting for the Yanks ahead of the ALDS finale.
Taillon has made one appearance against the Astros this season, giving up six runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Given his approach, teams with good contact-hitting capabilities and slugging metrics tend to take advantage of him. However, Jameson has the rare dominant performance, which is exactly what the Yankees are banking on given they can win a 4 PM game against Cleveland on Tuesday.