Analysis

Yankees: Should James Paxton Start ALDS Game One?

Yankees left-hander James Paxton has been solid in his past few starts, raising the question as to whether or not he should be their game one starter. 

With another dominant performance under his belt, James Paxton has lowered his ERA to a respectable 4.16 and is currently 12-6 on the season.  Are those the type of numbers Yankee hopefuls expected at the beginning of the season? Absolutely not, but over his last seven starts, Paxton has been able to pitch to a 2.98 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 42.1 innings pitched.

Having Paxton pitch his best while the season is winding down is something the Yankees were hoping to see all season. While the walks are still a bit of an issue, he has been able to strike hitters out at a rate the Yankees’ starters haven’t come close to.

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If he keeps this up, could he be the Game One starter in a potential ALDS matchup? Most would give the nod to Tanka based solely on experience.  While I am not opposed, one can argue that Paxton pitching just as well as anyone in the league right now deserves the nod. Having never pitched in the postseason, Paxton will have to prove that his end towards the season wasn’t a fluke. The Sonny Gray trade proved to be disastrous and he wasn’t even a starter in the 2018 postseason. No one would want to see Paxton pitch horribly and be demoted. Pitching in the Bronx requires a different mindset clearly. The fans are loud, the expectations are greater, the atmosphere is incredible. No other team in the MLB has that amount of pressure on them every year.

Wouldn’t fans want to see James Paxton pitch in a Game One? He was the crown jewel of the offseason and was supposed to be counted on as a fringe ace. With Severino out, the focus shifted to him earlier on and he did not respond well. As he gears up for the postseason we starting to see the player we all saw in April when he struck out 12 against the Red Sox. Even if Paxton doesn’t start Game One, he will be apart of this rotation which has a lot of question marks.

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