Yankees vs. Indians Pick
The Indians are a -185 favorite to win the series according to Bovada.lv, while the Yankees are a +160 underdog to win the series. In game one, Cleveland is a -130 favorite with New York coming in as a +120 underdog, while the total is set at 8.5.
New York is 92-71 on the season and 40-41 on the road, while Cleveland is 102-60 and 49-32 at home. The Indians won the season series 5-2 including a road sweep at the Yankees between August 28-30, outscoring the Bronx Bombers by a count of 17-7. The over-under is 3-3-1 in the seven games.
The Yankees advanced to the ALDS via an 8-4 home victory over the Twins Wednesday in the AL Wild Card Game. New York fell into a 3-0 deficit as Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) allowed a pair of home runs in a three-run first inning as he only lasted one-third of an inning. The Yankees battled back with a three-run homer in the bottom of the first by Didi Gregorius and took control in the middle innings. Brett Gardner finished 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and three runs scored. Aaron Judge was 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk, three runs and two RBIs. Gary Sanchez finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run. David Robertson earned the win in relief, throwing 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts and one walk.
New York is going with Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55) in game one, while the Indians are planning to go with Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19). Among the candidates for New York will be Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA), Jordan Montgomery (9-7, 3.88) and CC Sabathia 14-5, 3.69). Rounding out the Cleveland rotation will be Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.25), Carlos Carrasco (18-6, 3.29) and Mike Clevenger (12-6, 3.11). Josh Tomlin (10-9, 4.98) and Danny Salazar (5-6, 4.28) are also a pair of options that could be considered.
The offense for the Yankees is paced by Judge (1.049 OPS, 52 HRs, 114 RBIs), Sanchez (.876 OPS, 33 HRs, 90 RBIs), Gardner (.776 OPS, 21 HRs, 63 RBIs, 23 SB) and Gregorius (.796 OPS, 25 HRs 87 RBIs). Cleveland's offense is highlighted by Jose Ramirez (.957 OPS, 29 HRs, 83 RBIs, 17 SB), Edwin Encarnacion (.881 OPS, 38 HRs, 107 RBIs), Francisco Lindor (.842 OPS, 33 HRs, 89 RBIs, 15 SB) and Carlos Santana (.818 OPS, 23 HRs, 79 RBIs).
New York's bullpen is led by Chad Green (1.83 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 9 holds), Dellin Betances (2.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 10 saves, 19 holds), Robertson (1.84 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 14 saves, 8 holds) and Aroldis Chapman (3.22 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 22 saves). The Indians boast Andrew Miller (1.44 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 27 holds), Cody Allen (2.94 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 30 saves) and Bryan Shaw (3.52 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 holds) out of their bullpen.
Cleveland is arguably the most complete team in baseball, which it showed during the historic 22-game winning streak last month. They have a fearsome lineup one through nine, the starting pitcher is solid with AL Cy Young favorite Kluber leading the way and their bullpen is strong while also being aided by the likes of the flame-throwing Salazar. While the Yankees have a comparable bullpen and a strong starting lineup, the starting pitching might not stack as an equal. Severino struggled in the AL Wild Card Game, possibly due to nerves and youth. Tanaka has had an up-and-down season, while Sabathia had his best season in years but still feels as though he could regress at any moment. Gray is probably the most sure thing in the Yankees rotation, but it's difficult to see him completely shutting down the Indians' juggernaut of an offense. While the Yankees' offense is great in their own right, it receives a downgrade when playing on the road and it could lead to a 2-0 deficit. If Cleveland takes game one with Bauer on the mound, this series could be over in the blink of an eye. Get out the brooms?
MLB ALDS SERIES PREDICTION: CLEVELAND INDIANS IN THREE GAMES