Matchup of Aces in ALCS: Recovering Severino of Yankees vs. Astros K-King Cole
Luis Severino is not at full strength, but he is dominating hitters when he has been able to take the mound, and the Yankees will look at a bullpen game once Severino reaches a limit in Game 3 of the ALCS. The ace of the rotation a year ago, Severino, bother by shoulder and lat problems, did not make his 2019 debut until Sept. 17. He has made only four starts -- including Game 3 of the Division Series against the Twins, working a total of 16 innings. He has allowed only two runs on 10 hits and eight walks, striking out 21.
The one blip on the screen was his final appearance in the regular season when he gave up two runs -- allowing only one hit but walking four -- in three innings in what became a 9-4 loss to the Rangers on Sept. 28.
The Astros will counter with Gerrit Cole, a potential free agent who has dominated hitters in his two stats this post-season. He has struck out 25, a ratio of 14.36 per nine innings, which would be a post-season record. Just as significantly, he only walked three batters in 15 2/3 innings.
This will be only the 11th post-season game between the Yankees and Astros. The Yankees have a 6-4 edge, but they also won the first three games between the two teams. The Astros have won four of the last seven. They, however, were eliminated by the Yankees in the two previous post-seasons in which they met -- the 2015 Wild Card, and 2017 ALCS.