With the 2020 postseason adding a Wild Card Series, what will the New York Yankees’ starting pitching strategy look like?
The 2020 MLB Postseason is going to be one of the most interesting postseasons we have ever seen because of the fact that there is an additional round and 16 total teams rather than the typical 10.
That being said, pitching strategies are drastically impacted because teams must decide if they want to put their ace on the mound in game one to get out to a good start if they want to put him on the mound if they lose game one, or if they want to put him on the mound if there is a game three, should they win game one.
The problem with the last option, and maybe even the second option, is that if they pitch in game two or three, they likely wouldn’t be able to pitch in games one or maybe even two of the Divisional Series.
With the Wild Card Series starting on Tuesday, September 29th, and ending at the latest on October 1st, and then the Divisional Series starting on Monday, October 5th, teams have a huge decision to make.
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The New York Yankees are one team specifically, who has such a huge difference between their first starter (Gerrit Cole) and the rest of their starting pitchers. So that being said, will Aaron Boone throw Cole out on the mound in game one in hopes of getting out to a good start, or does he put faith in his second and third starters (Masahiro Tanaka and either J.A. Happ or Deivi Garcia) to get the job done and save Gerrit Cole for a potential win or go home game?
In my opinion, you throw Gerrit Cole out on the mound in game one in hopes of getting out to a good start, and then you pitch the other two in games two and three hoping they can get the job done, and then worst-case scenario, you can pitch your remaining starters out of the bullpen in games two or three.
The only problem with this is that if Gerrit Cole has a good outing and then the bullpen blows the game or the offense doesn’t give any run support and the Yankees go onto lose game one, they then wouldn’t have Gerrit Cole to rely on with their season on the line.
Nonetheless, whatever Aaron Boone decides on is going to make for a very interesting Wild Card Series and the pitching strategy in the Wild Card Series will have a huge impact on the Divisional Series, should they get there.