It’s Yankees vs. Guardians in ALDS but with a twist

A Cleveland player looks at a board displaying Yankees win.

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The Yankees will meet the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday in their first ALDS game at Yankee stadium. Cleveland defeated the Rays 1-0 after a grueling game of baseball that went for 15 innings on Saturday. With the win, they swept the American League wild-card series 2-0. A win in at least three games against the Guardians will ensure New York’s first ALCS appearance since 2019 and their potential first World Series win since 2009.

However, the Yankees need to beat Cleveland and its manager Terry Francona.

Even though the Yankees usually beat Cleveland in the playoffs, this Guardians team might be different and not just because of its name. The Yankees most recently trounced Cleveland in the wild-card round of the 2020 playoffs. They won both games in the best-of-three series.

They defeated Cleveland in five games in the 2017 ALDS, the first playoff meeting between the teams since the Yankees fell to Cleveland in four games in the 2007 ALDS when midges bit Joba Chamberlain.

This time, they will play a Guardians club that was tied with the Twins for the AL Central lead on September 4 but ended up winning the division by 11 games by completing the regular season on a 24-6 run.

Jose Ramirez is in Cleveland’s lineup. He would have been a candidate for AL MVP if Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani hadn’t had such great seasons.

During this season’s matchup with the Yankees, Ramirez only managed to go two for eighteen at the plate, collecting one double and striking out seven times.

Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, both former Mets, play well in the middle of the infield. Gimenez is positioned at second base while Rosario is at shortstop.

And 25-year-old Steven Kwan plays left field for the youngest team in the game. He came close to becoming the AL Rookie of the Year but had to contend at the third spot after Julio Rodriguez of the Mariners and Adley Rutschman of the Orioles.

Although Shane Bieber is considered to be Cleveland’s top pitcher, Triston McKenzie and Emmanuel Clase pose a potentially greater threat to the Yankees’ chances of winning.

McKenzie was great in Game 2 against the Rays, and he also beat the Yankees on July 3 at the stadium by going seven innings with no runs and only one hit.

And after having a great year in 2021, Clase became one of the best closers in the game this season.

The Yankees, on the other hand, have had some success against Clase, who botched a save in The Bronx on April 23 and also walked two hitters in a scoreless inning to preserve McKenzie’s July 3 victory in Cleveland.

The Yankees have played Cleveland five times this season, and that game was the only one they lost. However, they won all three games at Yankee Stadium.

Can the Yankees beat the Guardians?

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