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The Sports Daily > Burning River Baseball
2017 ALDS Game 2 Preview: Kluber, Tribe Look To Bury Yankees

After Trevor Bauer‘s dominating performance in Game 1 of a 4-0 win for the Indians, they will send Corey Kluber to the mound to try to take a 2-0 lead in the best of 5 series, which was Terry Francona‘s hopeful plan in starting Bauer Game 1 over Kluber.

Bauer got a combined swinging and called strikes on his curveball last night and look for more of Kluber to throw his curve/slider/slurve/slutter or whatever it is, early and often. Hitters this season had a .247 OPS against it.

The Yankees meanwhile against what baseball-reference deems a “power pitcher” (top third in league in strikeouts plus walks, which Kluber is) had a .694 OPS this year. It won’t be too complicated for Kluber. If he has his usual command and poise, he should have no problem keeping this Yankees lineup as off balance as Bauer did the night before.

In two starts against the Yankees this year Kluber allowed three runs in 17 innings of work (8IP, 2ER, 3BB, 7 in a win and 9IP, 0R, 1BB, 11K). Interestingly enough, Aaron Judge didn’t start either game Kluber pitched. He got what Joe Girardi called “rest” in the series in Cleveland in early August and then just a routine off day in late August when the Indians visited New York.

Former Indians draft pick, ace and Cy Young Winner CC Sabathia goes for the Yankees. He’s no longer a big lefty with a big fastball. In fact, while his fastball sat 92 most of the season, it was clocked a 89 most of September. He only induces swinging strikes 8.8% of the time these days and his 3.69 ERA doesn’t match his peripherals (4.49 FIP, 4.11 xFIP and 4.52 DRA) because he doesn’t rack up many strikeouts. He does however keep the ball on the ground to a 49% clip, which would be top 15 in baseball if he had the innings to qualify.

The biggest key will be the Indians scoring on Sabathia early as the Yankees super bullpen should be well rested. Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle are all rested. Dellin Betances is rested after a short, but dominant inning of relief yesterday. Aroldis Chapman is also rested as well, so scoring early is key again.

Storylines for the Indians will be that Jason Kipnis is batting second and Austin Jackson hits seventh. While most people may question why Kipnis is hitting so high in the order vs. a left hander, it’s likely because Francona expects to see the Yankees right handed dominant bullpen early.

Andrew Miller threw 30 pitches last night and walked two so his availability is a question at least length wise, but there is an off-day tomorrow. Cody Allen threw 20 but looked great, so he’ll be available.

Micheal Brantley is still only available as a pinch hitter but Terry Francona said pre-game that he may possibly be able to start in LF in New York on Sunday in Game 3.

Here are your starting line-ups for Game one of the ALDS, starting at 5:00 PM on MLB Network:

Pos Indians Pos Yankees
SS Francisco Lindor LF Brett Gardner
CF Jason Kipnis RF Aaron Judge
2B Jose Ramirez C Gary Sanchez
DH Edwin Encarnacion SS Didi Gregorius
RF Jay Bruce 2B Starlin Castro
1B Carlos Santana 1B Greg Bird
LF Austin Jackson 3B Todd Frazier
C Yan Gomes
DH Jacoby Ellsbury
3B Giovanny Urshela CF Aaron Hicks