The New York Yankees host the Cleveland Guardians in Game 1 of the American League Division Series tonight, and the Bombers have made a few important roster decisions: From the lineup, Matt Carpenter is in and DJ LeMahieu out for the series. From the bullpen, All-Star Clay Holmes is in, but Aroldis Chapman and Scott Effross are out. New York is a -210 favorite for tonight at Caesars Sportsbook behind ace Gerrit Cole.
Carpenter has not played since fouling a ball off his left foot on Aug. 8 but was a revelation prior to that after essentially being signed off the street. The 36-year-old hit .305 with 15 homers, 37 RBI and a 1.138 OPS in 128 at-bats.
LeMahieu, a former batting champion, is dealing with a toe injury but did play in several games down the stretch. Manager Aaron Boone said that the infielder looked "compromised," and he hadn't had an extra-base hit since early August. LeMahieu hit .261 with 12 homers and 46 RBI in 467 at-bats this season.
Effross, one of general manager Brian Cashman's trade-deadline acquisitions this summer (from the Cubs), was left off the ALDS roster because he needs Tommy John surgery that will likely cost him all of 2023 as well. In 13 games with New York he had a 2.13 ERA, three saves and three holds and was definitely going to be one of Boone's high-leverage options.
Chapman took himself out of contention for a roster spot by missing Friday's mandatory workout at Yankee Stadium, which led to Boone telling him to stay home for the series. What's ironic is that Chapman skipped the workout because he wasn't given any assurances he would be on the ALDS roster. With the Effross injury, he probably would have been an option. Effross will be replaced by Miguel Castro.
Holmes (7-4, 2.54 ERA, 20 saves) hasn't pitched since Sept. 26 but is good to go and probably will be Boone's top closing option – although he struggled in the second half with a 4.84 ERA, a far cry from his dominant first half, during which he logged a 1.31 ERA.
Cole was 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two starts vs. Cleveland this year. In four postseason starts as a Yankee, Cole is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA. It's Cal Quantrill (15-5, 3.38) for the Guardians. Quantrill made one start against the Yankees this year, giving up three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss on April 23. He has just one-third of an inning of postseason experience. Aaron Judge, who hit an AL-record 62 homers this year, is +210 to go yard tonight.
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