It is the one of the more elite times of the year. The weather is getting a touch on the brisk side and there is no better time to be a sports fan. So, it is time to break out your most fraternal vests, your brand new flannels, get your bookies on speed dial and buckle up.
We have already discussed plenty of football, but the month of October also means playoff baseball. If there is one thing that playoff baseball is 10 times better than, it’s regular season baseball. All you Yankee fans can start to pretend to care about your team for at least one day, and fans from Boston, D.C, Cleveland and Chicago can prepare for what should be a wild month of baseball.
For now, we’ll look at the American League, where the team to beat is up in Cleveland. Coming off a game 7 loss in the World Series last season, the Indians did not miss a beat in 2017. They are still young, they play an extremely exciting brand of baseball (yes baseball can be exciting) and they can pitch the hell out of it. Corey Kluber is your AL Cy Young despite everyone having handed it to Chris Sale in June, and we all know what they bring out of the bullpen. Cleveland already set the all- time record for consecutive wins this season at 22, but Francona and his guys have a whole lot more on their minds.
The Tribe await the winner of a one game playoff between the Yankees and Twins on Tuesday in the Bronx. On the other side of the bracket, the Red Sox and Astros get together in what should be a great series. A big time pickup in season for Houston gives them a 1-2 punch of Justin Verlander and Dallas Kuechel, which is a huge advantage in a short best of five series. For Boston, we know who will be on the hill in Game 1, but then things get dicey. While Pomeranz was good for most of the year, he has never come close to throwing this many innings in a season. Man, do I miss Clay Buchholz. (Psyche) It is unfortunate for Sox fans that their 200 Million dollar man who was brought in for these exact moments, will be trotting in from the outfield in the middle of games. He could prove to be valuable for Boston, if he is durable enough to be used similarly to how the Indians used Andrew Miller during their run last postseason. That is asking a lot of a guy who has not only been dealing with elbow issues, but has also never won a playoff game in his life.
We will keep a close eye on the action, beginning tonight with Louis Severino squaring off against Ervin Santana. The 23 year old Severino has been lights out all year for the bombers going 14-6 with a 2.98, but this is a different type of moment for the young hurler. Santana on the other hand, has been around the block. His career has had its ups and downs, but his 13th year was one of his best. The twinkies have had tough luck against the Yanks in the past, but anything can happen in a do or die ballgame. 162 down, and it all comes down to 9 innings tonight. Let’s get it started, and I’ll take the Yankees tonight to handle business at home. This win will put them in prime position to get swept by the Indians in the ALDS.