Unlike Yankees, Angels to use four-man rotation for ALCS

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Earlier this week I speculated that the Angels would use four starting pitchers for the ALCS despite the drawn-out schedule making a three-man rotation possible, and after playing coy for a couple days manager Mike Scioscia announced this afternoon that he’ll indeed use John Lackey, Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver, and Scott Kazmir against the Yankees.
Because the Angels’ rotation depth is one of their biggest strengths shortening up the rotation wouldn’t have benefited them nearly as much as it does the Yankees, who’ll give every ALCS start to the trio of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Andy Pettitte while avoiding starts from Chad Gaudin or perhaps Joba Chamberlain. In particular Sabathia will take the mound three times if the series lasts seven games, while fellow Game 1 starter John Lackey will pitch just twice.
Given how things are lined up for the Angels, if the series goes to seven games Sabathia would likely face Weaver, whose first start of the series will come in Game 3 because Scioscia wants him to pitch at home, where he has a 2.90 ERA. Barring any further changes, here are the ALCS game-by-game matchups:
Game 1: CC Sabathia vs. John Lackey
Game 2: A.J. Burnett vs. Joe Saunders
Game 3: Andy Pettite vs. Jered Weaver
Game 4: CC Sabathia vs. Scott Kazmir
Game 5: A.J. Burnett vs. John Lackey
Game 6: Andy Pettite vs. Joe Saunders
Game 7: CC Sabathia vs. Jered Weaver
Right now the Yankees are around 1.75-to-1 favorites for the whole series.

Wilson Ramos helped off the field after suffering an apparent knee injury

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 14:  Wilson Ramos #40 of the Washington Nationals hits a home run in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 14, 2016 in Washington, DC.  Washington won the game 1-0. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Monday night has, unfortunately, been a night of injuries. Joaquin Benoit and Corey Kluber suffered injuries earlier in the evening and now it appears that Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has suffered an apparent right knee injury.

In the top of the sixth inning, Yasmany Tomas hit a double to right field that scored Paul Goldschmidt. Brandon Drury was on his way to home plate as right fielder Brian Goodwin got the relay throw into first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman threw home but it sailed high. Ramos leaped to grab the ball and came down awkwardly, as MASN’s Dan Kolko describes. Ramos clutched and pointed at his right knee. He was unable to put any weight on it as he was helped off the field. Per Kolko, Ramos struggled to get down the dugout steps.

Pedro Severino came in as a defensive replacement for Ramos. The Nationals should have more on his condition after the game. It’s worth noting that Ramos tore the ACL and MCL in the same knee back in 2012.

With the Nationals headed to the playoffs, this is a bad time to lose Ramos if the injury is indeed serious. He came into Monday night batting .307/.354/.497 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI in 520 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 with a single before exiting Monday’s game.

Corey Kluber exits Monday’s start with groin tightness

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians reacts during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Indians ace Corey Kluber lasted only four innings in Monday night’s start against the Tigers, exiting with tightness in his right groin, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. Kluber had allowed two runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Both runs scored in the bottom of the second inning on a J.D. Martinez two-run home run.

More should be known on Kluber’s status after the game.

With a week left in the regular season, the Indians are hobbling to the finish line. Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar were injured earlier this month, forcing the club to get creative with its starting rotation.

The Indians are leading the Tigers 5-3 as of this writing. If they win, they will clinch the AL Central for their first division title since 2007.