First Pitch: Gerrit Cole vs Tyler Glasnow

Tonight features a game five, winner-take-all playoff matchup with Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow on the mound for the Yankees and Rays, respectively. Just how the Pirates drew it up in 2011, I’m sure.

Glasnow will be going on short rest, and it will be interesting to see if the Rays go with some sort of bullpen approach, as they also have Blake Snell available.

Of course, it’s not like you can’t pitch in game two, followed by game five. Gerrit Cole did the same thing in 2013 with the Pirates against the Cardinals, giving up two runs in five innings in game five, while the Pirates’ offense was shut down. That game actually happened seven years ago, today.

Cole went on to do the same thing in 2019, pitching game two and game five in the ALDS, and pitching a gem in game five, with one run allowed in eight innings.

That matchup also featured Glasnow, who gave up four runs in 2.2 innings of work, pitching on longer rest than he has going into tonight’s game.

You probably know that I’m pulling for the Rays in this one. They seem like extreme underdogs against a powerhouse like the Yankees, and with a matchup featuring the best pitcher in the game versus an electric, but inconsistent pitcher.

The winner will go on to face the Astros, while the NLCS currently features the Braves and the Dodgers. If the Rays lose, it would guarantee that the World Series will be won yet again by a team in the top half in the league in payroll, despite the expanded playoffs giving more small market teams a shot. The Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros ranked in the top five heading into the season.

The Rays fan in me wants them to win. The part of me that wants to see MLB’s unequal system burn to the ground is pulling for a Yankees/Dodgers matchup.

What are your thoughts on tonight’s matchup? Leave them in the comments.

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First Pitch