Gerrit Cole has had his fair share of ups and downs this season, but he is still expected to get the ball in the Yankees first playoff game next month.Aaron Boone confirmed that the right-hander is the first-place club preferred Game 1 starter Tuesday on theNew York Posts The Show podcast Mel Stottlemyre Jersey.Yeah, Cole would be, the manager said when asked byJoel Sherman and Jon Heyman. And we feel great about Nestor [Cortes] obviously, too. And hopefully [Luis Severino] getting back here and getting a few starts under his belt here at the back end, put him in that mix too. Weve got a couple weeks to go there and weve got to see how we get there and how we get in. Those things always affect how you line things up. But hopefully, were in a position to line it up how we want.The Yankees have yet to clinch a playoff spot, but they hold a 5.5-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East at the time of publication.Cole, meanwhile, owns a 3.41 ERA over 30 starts and 182.1 innings this year. His 3.2 fWAR leads all Yankees pitchers, but the 32-year-old has also struggled with the longball. Cole has surrendered an American League-high 29 home runs this season, and the problem seems to be getting worse of late.Cole has allowed eight home runs over his last five starts and five over his last two outings. He most recently gave up two dingers and four earned runs to the Brewers on Sept. 18, though the Yankees won in Milwaukee Kyle Zurak Jersey.If the Yankees cant line Cole up for a Game 1 for some reason, Cortes is the logical alternative. The crafty southpaw has a 2.67 ERA over 145 frames after pitching five innings of one-run ball against the Pirates on Tuesday.Severino, meanwhile, has a 3.45 ERA over 86 innings this season. Heis supposed to rejoin the Yankees rotation on Wednesday after a lengthy I.L. stint and will need to build back up before the playoffs.