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Tuesday MLB postseason game thread

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The 2021 MLB postseason kicks off tonight with a matchup of AL East division foes.

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Yankees OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton hitting a grand slam at Fenway Park on September 25, 2021.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

There’s only one MLB game on the slate tonight — the single elimination Wild Card round between New York and Boston. The winner goes on the road to face the Rays in game one of the AL Division Series this Thursday.

At 92-70, the Yankees and the Red Sox had identical win-loss records in the 2021 regular season. In the season series between these two teams, Boston got the better of the Bronx Bombers, but not by much. It was 10 games to nine, with a +1 run run differential in favor of the Sox.

If you tend towards recency bias, you’d probably like to know the Yankees are the hotter team coming into this matchup, with a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. Boston, on the other hand, is 5-5 in their last 10.

A look at the 2021 team pitching stats shows New York as the superior ball club. The Yanks had the third best BAA in the American League (.231), and the Sox had the 2nd worst (.258). New York also holds the edge in WHIP (1.21 to 1.38).

The Yankees’ pitching staff has the better year-long ERA, which is nearly a half run better than Boston’s. The Red Sox also allowed the most home runs (176) in the AL this year, while New York was middle of the pack in that category.

As far as team batting stats, Boston holds the edge over the Yankees in runs scored (829 to 711), batting average (.261 to .237), OBP (.328 to .322), and OPS (.777 to .729).

Today’s schedule:

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, AL Wild Card

8:08 PM ET, ESPN

The Yankees will trot out Gerrit Cole for tonight’s start. The right-hander was 16-8 during the regular with a 3.23 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 1.06 WHIP and 12.1 SO/9. Cole has a 4.91 ERA in four starts against the Sox in 2021, including a 6.13 ERA in three starts at Fenway Park.

Nathan Eovaldi will take the mound for the Red Sox. During the regular season, he went 11-9 with a 3.75 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 1.19 WHIP, and 9.6 SO/9. Against the Yankees in 2021, Eovaldi put up a 3.71 ERA in six starts. He’s fared better at home (3.47 ERA) this than on the road (4.21 ERA).

Yankees lineup

  1. Anthony Rizzo 1B
  2. Aaron Judge RF
  3. Giancarlo Stanton DH
  4. Joey Gallo LF
  5. Gleyber Torres 2B
  6. Brett Gardner CF
  7. Gio Urshela 3B
  8. Kyle Higashioka C
  9. Andrew Velazquez SS

RHP Gerrit Cole

Red Sox lineup

  1. Kyle Schwarber DH
  2. Enrique Hernandez CF
  3. Rafael Devers 3B
  4. Xander Bogaerts SS
  5. Alex Verdugo LF
  6. Hunter Renfroe RF
  7. Kevin Plawecki C
  8. Bobby Dalbec 1B
  9. Christian Arroyo 2B

RHP Nathan Eovaldi