Yankees make decision on Game 1 starting pitcher for ALDS against Cleveland

Alexander Wilson
gerrit cole, yankees
Sep 23, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts after the final out of the top of the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Yankees preparing to face off against the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday to begin the ALDS, they had yet to make a decision on their Game 1 starting pitcher Saturday.

However, the team finally announced their intention on Sunday morning, with manager Aaron Boone confirming that big-money starter Gerrit Cole will get the first game of the series with Nestor Cortes in Game 2 and Luis Severino in Game 3.

Gerrit Cole will start Game 1 of the ALDS. Nestor Cortes gets Game 2 and Luis Severino gets Game 3.

According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic

Why the Yankees chose Gerrit Cole to start Game 1:

Cole has had a bumpy end of the 2022 regular season, hosting a 4.80 ERA in the month of September and giving up two earned runs across six hits in 6.0 innings against the Texas Rangers on October 4.

The biggest issue with Cole right now is that he’s given up a home run in eight consecutive games, an unacceptable rate that must dissipate in the postseason.

There was a strong argument to make that Nestor Cortés should’ve been the Game 1 starter, but the Yankees seemingly have more faith in Cole, who has plenty of playoff experience, whereas Nestor has never made an appearance in a high-level situation like that.

Across 14 postseason games, Cole features a 2.93 ERA, 11.62 strikeouts per nine, and then 86.7% left on-base rate over 86 innings.

Against the Guardians this season, Cole is 2–0 with an ERA of 1.42 and 15 strikeouts in two appearances. His impeccable numbers against a young team that relies more on contact hitting than home run hitting suggests he is the right man for the job.

Nonetheless, the Yankees have a strong three-man starting rotation set for the ALDS and a few healthy bullpen arms returning.