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Should Yankees have given ball to Masahiro Tanaka for Game One?

Although Aaron Boone held everything close to the vest until this point, it was officially announced that James Paxton will start Game One of the ALDS, with Masahiro Tanaka starting Game Two and Luis Severino starting Game Three.

While Paxton deserves the start because of his excellent stretch towards the end of the season, most Yankee fans would still be more comfortable with Masahiro Tanaka as the Game One starter. Why? Because he is nails in the postseason and the most trusted man in the Yankees’ rotation.

Tanaka holds a 3-2 record in the postseason, with a 1.50 ERA. It’s a large enough sample size where we know exactly what to expect of the ace come playoff time.

All in all, Tanaka’s worst start was his performance in the 2015 Wild Card Game, where he gave up two solo home runs to the Houston Astros in a 2-0 loss.

Other than Tanaka’s pedigree of success in the postseason, Paxton’s lack of history in the playoffs is concerning. We don’t know which James Paxton will see and although that may not be a bad thing, it could also blow up in the Yankees’ face.

Will James Paxton be a successful Game One starter? Possibly, but having Masahiro Tanaka in the playoffs is almost a sure bet for success. We shall see Friday which James Paxton we see.

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