If the Yankees get by the A’s in the AL wild-card game, they would need four starters against the Red Sox in the best-of-five ALDS.
Unless an injury surfaces, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino are locks to face the Red Sox, who open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night with a magic number of two to clinch the AL East title.
So who would be the fourth starter?
Based on recent work by Lance Lynn and CC Sabathia, Lynn is in the lead.
From Aug. 17 to Sept. 2, the 31-year-old Lynn was 0-2 with a 9.16 ERA in four starts and had given up 31 hits in 18 ²/₃ innings. In Lynn’s past two outings, counting Sunday’s no-decision against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, in which he allowed a run and three hits in five innings, Lynn is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA.
In Sabathia’s past three starts, the 38-year-old veteran lefty is 0-2 with a 9.28 ERA, and hitters are batting .412 against him.
Sabathia has more postseason starting experience (22 in 23 games) than Lynn (seven in 24 games). With 17 relief appearances in the postseason, Lynn could serve as a long reliever.
On Thursday, Hal Steinbrenner told The Post that Aaron Boone had done a good job dealing with all the moving parts of the injured Yankees roster and overall he was happy about hiring Boone.
Following Sunday’s bitter 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Cashman was asked if he was OK with the job Boone was doing, and the GM had the same response in a shorter version.
“Yes,” Cashman said.
According to Boone, Aaron Judge could return at some point during the upcoming series against the Red Sox. So, too, might Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman is scheduled to throw a simulated game Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, where he is expected to face Tyler Wade and Kyle Higashioka.
“He came out [of Saturday’s workout] doing some of his fielding work and he came out of it really well,” Boone said of Chapman, who last pitched Aug. 21 because of tendinitis in his left knee. He has 31 saves this season.
Pitchers Justus Sheffield and Domingo German will join the Yankees on Tuesday.
The left-handed Sheffield and right-handed German completed their seasons with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when the International League playoffs ended Saturday with a loss to Durham.
German started and went 2 ²/₃ innings, and Sheffield worked an inning of relief.Since they pitched Saturday, Sheffield and German wouldn’t have been available to pitch Sunday for the Yankees, so they were told to report for Tuesday night’s game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
After making 20 starts in the minor leagues — he also relieved June 27 — Sheffield was moved to the bullpen with the intent he could possibly help the Yankees down the stretch. His last four appearances came out of the pen.
The former first-round pick of the Indians, who came to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller swap from the Indians in 2016, Sheffield posted a 2.45 ERA out of the pen for SWB with seven strikeouts and zero walks in 7 ¹/₃ innings. Sheffield held left-handed-hitting batters to a .154 average, which might set him up for work against big-league left-handed hitters.
Boone said there is an upside to having Sheffield get a taste of the big leagues before he competes for a roster spot next year in spring training.
“You hope guys benefit from that, from being around it and being a part of it,” Boone said. “And hopefully an opportunity to impact some way in these final couple of weeks.’’
Unlike Sheffield, German has major league experience since he has appeared in 26 games (13 starts) in the past two years. This season, he worked four minor league games (three starts) at Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A. In 19 big-league games, German was 2-6 with a 5.68 ERA.