A winner-take-all, one-game playoff awaits the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card Game on Wednesday night in the Bronx.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Yankees announced that Luis Severino will get the nod to start, a decision that doesn’t bring a lot of confidence with it.
Severino has not been pitching like an ace at all over the last few months which had provided pause for the Yankees on who will start the one-game playoff on Wednesday night.
In the final 14 starts of the regular season, Severino went 6-6 with a 5.67 ERA and 90 hits allowed in 73 innings pitched. In his previous 118.1 innings to start the year, Severino was almost untouchable, going 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA and just 83 hits allowed.
Is starting Luis Severino a good idea?
The 24-year-old got the ball in last year’s American League Wild Card Game against the Minnesota Twins and it almost ended in disaster. He lasted just 1/3 of an inning, allowing three runs on four hits before getting pulled.
The Yankees would go on to win 8-4, sparking a run to the ALCS, but this would be a dangerous game to play against an Oakland Athletics team that has five players with 23 or more home runs, including MLB leader Khris Davis who mashed 48 in 2018.
Severino is 1-1 this season against the Athletics with a 6.23 ERA and 11 hits allowed in just 8.2 innings of work.
It might have been safer to start JA Happ, who had been masterful since being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays. In 11 starts, he’s 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA. On Sept. 4, he limited the A’s to just one run on two hits in six innings during a no-decision outing.
That kind of performance would be just what the Yankees want as they could turn things over to their dominant bullpen to help close out Oakland.