The New York Yankees will counter ace left-hander Chris Sale with a southpaw of their own, sending J.A. Happ to the mound against the Red Sox for Game 1 of the teams’ American League Division Series on Friday night at Fenway Park in Boston.
Happ hasn’t lost since joining the Yankees via trade from the Toronto Blue Jays in July. He’s 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts for New York.
More importantly, Happ went 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts against the Red Sox between the Yankees and Blue Jays during the regular season. He faced Boston last Friday, allowing four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts over six innings.
For his career, Happ is 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) against the Red Sox.
—Injured Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star right-hander Ross Stripling are officially unavailable for the National League Division Series, as both were left off their teams’ 25-man rosters.
Swanson’s absence was expected as he recovers from a partially torn ligament in his left hand, which happened during a swing in a game early last week. Charlie Culberson, a former Dodger, will start in Swanson’s stead.
Stripling, who went 8-6 with a 3.02 ERA in 33 outings (21 starts) in the regular season, was left off L.A.’s roster in favor of veteran reliever 38-year-old reliever Ryan Madson, as the Dodgers opted for eight relievers and four starters. Also left off the Dodgers’ roster is 16th-year veteran second baseman Chase Utley, who plans to retire after the season.
—The Houston Astros bypassed right-handed relievers Brad Peacock and Chris Devenski while finalizing their 25-man roster for the American League Division Series.
Rookie right-hander Josh James, who has made six major league appearances, landed the final 11-person pitching spot over Peacock and Devenski, who were valuable members of Houston’s World Series championship team last season. Also passed over for the series against the Cleveland Indians were veteran right-handers Joe Smith and Hector Rondon.
Another surprise roster choice was outfielder Myles Straw, who was recalled in mid-September and has nine career at-bats. Straw will likely be utilized as a pinch runner, and his addition left catcher Max Stassi off the roster. The Indians also released their ALDS roster and veteran outfielder Rajai Davis landed the final spot over infielder Erik Gonzalez.
—Field Level Media