CC Sabathia should start Game 4 

October, 19, 2010

Today's winners in Stats & Analytics:

Joe Girardi, Charlie Manuel, Ron Washington

Today's losers:

A.J. Burnett, Tony Kubek, the Cowboys

First things first: The stats say the Yankees should start CC Sabathia against Texas in Game 4 of the ALCS. Let's look at the costs and benefits of moving Sabathia up on three days' rest to replace A.J. Burnett now that New York is down a game to the Rangers. For one thing, it doesn't appear to hurt Sabathia to pitch on short rest: In his career, he's 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 26 innings on three days of rest. That's just a tiny sample size, of course, but at least the numbers don't show he's dramatically worse. For another, if the Yankees are concerned about pitching Phil Hughes or Andy Pettitte on short rest, they can always start Burnett in Game 5 or Game 6. Burnett's waited this long to go; it's not likely to affect him if he's delayed another game or two. And at least then if Burnett loses, it might not put the Yankees in such an untenable position.