ALDS Game 1 Preview: Yankees at Twins

A pair of left-handers are on the hill in Game 1 of the ALDS between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, CC Sabathia and Francisco Liriano.

LirianoSabathiaThe Yankees won four of Sabathia’s five 2009 postseason starts. There didn’t appear to be any added pressure pitching for the Yankees as Sabathia had a 1.98 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. In his five previous postseason starts with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers, he was just 2-3 with a 7.92 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP.

Among pitchers who made at least 30 starts this season, Liriano allowed the fewest home runs (nine HR in 31 starts). He made two starts this season against New York and did not allow a home run in 13 innings.

Liriano has pitched well against the Yankees the last two seasons (3.33 ERA); however, he’s made four starts against them since the start of 2009, and the Twins have lost all four games.

The Yankees struggled down the stretch against left-handed starters. They finished the regular season losing each of their last nine games when the opposing starting pitcher was left-handed. Those nine starters were a combined 7-0 with a 3.13 ERA and allowed just four HR in 54⅔ innings.