The 2021 MLB postseason will begin with the AL Wild Card game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The Yankees and Red Sox punched their tickets into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. For Tuesday night’s wild card game, the Yankees will give the ball to Gerrit Cole, while the Red Sox will start Nathan Eovaldi.
Cole enters the wild card game with a 16-8 record, 3.23 ERA, and 243 strikeouts. The 31-year-old saw his ERA go up to 4.14 post All-Star break with a record of 4-4 in 12 starts. Cole did not have the great September, posting a 5.16 ERA and 3-2 record through six starts. This season against the Red Sox, the ace pitcher has a 2-2 record, 4.91 ERA, and allowed five HRs in four starts.
Eovaldi does not possess the numbers that Cole has, but still boasts a 11-9 record, 3.75 ERA, and 195 strikeouts. The veteran pitcher has been the Red Sox’s best starting pitcher and is the guy that they want on the mound in this one-game situation. The 31-year-old had a 3-4 record and 3.84 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break. Eovaldi, however, has pitched well against the Yankees this season with an ERA of 3.71 in six starts.
Who has the edge?
Between these two dynamic starting pitchers, I’d have to give the edge to Cole. Despite his not so good September, he had an amazing August with a stellar 0.51 ERA in three starts. He has pitched well on the road this season with a 10-4 record and 3.32 ERA. This is why New York signed Cole for these exact moments in October. I think he can quiet a streaky Red Sox offense at Fenway.