The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will face off in Game 5 of their ALDS series on Friday night, with a spot in the American League Championship Series going to the winner.
Both teams have announced they will bring back starting pitchers on short rest for the contest.
Yankees Turn to Cole to Save Season
The Yankees will rely on star offseason acquisition Gerrit Cole to lead them into the ALCS. Cole threw six innings in Monday’s Game 1, giving up three runs on six hits. Fans, pundits, and even Cole himself expected the ace to pitch again if a Game 5 was necessary, even if he has never before started a game on short rest.
“I’m feeling good,” Cole told reporters. “It’s not something that’s probably sustainable for the whole season, but certainly the human body is capable of doing it. It’s just kind of you’ve got to go out there and do your job. When the lights turn on, it doesn’t matter if it’s three, four, five, six or seven days. You’ve got to do your job.”
The Rays made a less obvious choice for Friday, turning to Game 2 starter Tyler Glasnow. He’ll come back on just two days of rest, after giving up four runs over five innings in Tuesday’s Tampa Bay win. The Rays may utilize Glasnow as an opener, hoping to bridge him – and perhaps fellow starter Blake Snell – to Tampa Bay’s powerful bullpen to cobble together a winning formula.
“I haven’t really talked about innings or anything like that,” Glasnow told reporters on Thursday. “I just know I’m starting tomorrow, but I feel good about it. I’m excited. As far as health goes, I feel good. I’m ready to go.”
Power Bats, Not Pitching, Could Decide Game 5
Both teams are utilizing whatever weapons they have on the mound in an attempt to slow down two offenses that have displayed endless firepower throughout the series. While neither New York’s Giancarlo Stanton or Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena homered on Thursday – both went deep in each of the first three games of the ALDS – the Yankees still relied on the long ball, with both Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres homering in the 5-1 win.
“We were really confident tonight,” Torres said after the win. “We never feel panic or anything like that. We just come to the plate and try to do what we can do. Inning after inning, we feel more comfortable.”
|Yankees vs. Rays Odds – ALDS Game 5 (via PointsBet)|
|Yankees (Cole): -160||Rays (Glasnow): -135|
|Yankees (-1.5): +110||Rays (+1.5): -131|
|Over 7.5: +100||Under 7.5: -121|
The Yankees enter Game 5 as the consensus favorite, largely due to having Cole on the mound. PointsBet lists New York as a -150 favorite over Tampa Bay (+130) as of Friday morning.
Friday’s winner will face a short turnaround before the ALCS begins on Sunday. Whoever advances will take on the Houston Astros, who booked their spot in the ALCS by finishing off the Oakland Athletics 11-6 on Thursday to win their series three games to one.