MLB Picks Today: Yankees at Indians ALDS Game 1
Yankees at Indians ALDS Game 1
Unlike the Boston at Houston game, neither the Yankees (92-71) or Indians (102-60) are using their aces in game 1. Luis Severino pitched on Tuesday in a less than ideal start that still saw the Bronx Bombers dispatch the Twins in the AL Wild Card game, and Indians manager Terry Francona is saving his ace Corey Kluber for game 2. The AL Central winners finished the season with the best record in the AL, just beating out the Astros for the opportunity to face the Wild Card winner. The price on Cleveland isn't that high because Kluber isn't pitching, but they are still a modest favorite.
The New York Yankees would probably be much larger underdogs if not for Aaron Judge. Behind his record 52 home run season, the rookie kept it up during the Wild Card game against the Twins to help push New York on to the ALDS. The Yanks' bullpen did the rest behind Chapman, Kahnle, and Robertson, securing 26 outs in the momentous win after Severino's shaky start.
In fact, the relievers struck out 13, a tie for the most strikeouts ever by a bullpen in a playoff game. They hope not to be needed much on Thursday, but should be ready to show their stuff.
That's if Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA) runs into trouble.
The right hander has had 27 starts in total this season, with his last 11 after moving to New York. In those starts, Gray went 4-7 with a 3.72 ERA. He's had experience against the Indians, but not the best of experiences. In 3 starts against them, he's 1-2 with a 4.86 ERA, with one of those losses coming in his NY debut on Aug 3, a 5-1 loss in which he gave up 4 runs, 2 that were earned, on 4 hits. Gray's career record against the Tribe is a bit better, sitting at 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA. In his two playoff starts, he's 0-1, but holds a 2.08 ERA.
Fresh off the tailend of their 102 win season, the Cleveland Indians come into the ALDS having won 34 out of their last 38 games. Their 22 game win streak was the best the AL had ever seen. The Yankees can attest to that, having been at the losing end of three of those games.
Francona still has a great bullpen this season, and will surely be using Andrew Miller just as much as last year. It, after all, did get them to the World Series. Jose Ramirez is also someone to look out for, as he was hitting .407 in September.
Corey Kluber will get the start for game 2, but Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19) is just what the doctor ordered for Thursday. In two starts against the Bombers this season, he's 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA. The righty's last start against them was on Aug 30, in a 2-1 win, giving up just a single run. All-time against them, Bauer actually has a losing record of 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA in 8 starts.
The UCLA alum finished his season strong, going 9-1 with a 2.42 ERA in his last 13 games, 12 of which were starts, but even he claims that the postseason is a different animal. And Bauer would know, having gone 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in 5 games last postseason.
Even though neither team is going with their aces, Bauer still has the edge on Gray.
Neither really have good postseason records, but Bauer has been there more recently and will have learned from his mistakes last season. Both Francona and Joe Girardi are good managers, but we believe the Yankees will try to go all out for this game and just fall short, and then have things go downhill. New York is 1-5 in their last 6 postseason appearances, while the Indians behind Bauer have simply dominated recently, going 6-2 in their last 8 behind him, and a stunning 20-8 in their last 28 after a quality start.
Take the Cleveland Indians at -155 at Sports Interaction
Do you agree with our pick? Do the Yankees actually have more value in this spot? Let us know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to share!
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