The Indians' run to Game 7 of the 2016 World Series happened without Carrasco, whose season ended on his second pitch of a September 17 start, when a sharp comebacker off the bat of the Tigers' Ian Kinsler fractured his fifth metacarpal. His absence and that of Danny Salazar forced manager Terry Francona to get particularly creative with both his rotation and his bullpen, which worked brilliantly. This time around, the 30-year-old righty is ready to go, coming off a season in which he threw a career-high 200 innings and ranked sixth in the league ERA (3.29), fifth in WAR (5.6), strikeout and home run rates (10.2 and 0.9 per nine, respectively), fourth in FIP (3.10) and third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.4).
Like many Indians, he closed the season on a roll, posting a 1.82 ERA and 8.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his final 10 starts. Carrasco will start Game 3 of the Division Series against the Yankees in the Bronx with his favorable road splits likely a factor; his 2.52 ERA away from home over the past three seasons trails only Clayton Kershaw (2.34) and Max Scherzer (2.48)