The New York Yankees are only the fifth seed in the American League playoffs, but they are the betting favorites at Mybookie.ag to win the pennant. New York opens its best-of-3 Wild-Card series in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
How to Bet Yankees at Indians MLB Odds & TV Info
Why Bet on New York? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis
The Yankees have won 40 of the last 99 American League pennants. Just three teams — the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Athletics — have as many postseason appearances as the Yankees have World Series titles. Across their history, the Yankees have made the postseason 47.5 percent of time. In second place is Arizona all the way back at 26.3 percent.
Since 1993, the 20 largest splits between a team’s offense at home and its offense on the road: 19 Rockies seasons, and this year’s Yankees. Gary Sanchez‘s OPS is 300 points higher at home than on the road; Luke Voit’s is 400 points higher at home; DJ LeMahieu’s is 500 points higher. LeMahieu won the MLB batting title, while Voit led the majors with 22 homers.
Voit was the eighth Yankee all-time to lead the Majors in home runs (outright or tied). LeMahieu became just the second player in Major League history to win the batting title in both leagues (Ed Delahanty. LeMahieu is hitting .364 (12-for-33) with 3 doubles, 16RBI and 3BB with runners in scoring position this year.
Kyle Higashioka will catch Gerrit Cole in Game 1 Tuesday. It’s not a big surprise given the success Cole has had with Higashioka behind the plate. The Yankees ace as a 1.00 ERA in four starts with Higashioka. Sanchez will give the Yankees a powerful bat off the bench for the series opener, if needed.
It’s Cole (7-3) on the mound. He limited the Blue Jays to one run in seven innings last Tuesday in a victory. The AL Cy Young winner is already decided, but Cole has put himself into the mix for the second spot behind Shane Bieber. He’s allowed a total of two runs while winning his last three starts, and his season ERA was at 2.84. He fanned 94 batters in 73 innings.
Cole paced the Yanks in wins, starts, complete games, innings and strikeouts. Cole has pitched to a 2.60 ERA in 10 postseason starts, holding opponents to a .175 average. He was 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA last autumn.
Why Bet on Cleveland? | 2020 MLB Expert Analysis
Terry Francona will not manage the Indians during the postseason. Sandy Alomar Jr. is going to fill in, as he has for much of the last six weeks. Francona needed surgery in late August for blood clotting issues. He’s said to be making a smooth recovery. Cleveland hasn’t won a World Series since 1948, and at 71 years that’s the longest current title drought in MLB. Overall, it’s the fifth longest title-less stretch in MLB history.
Cleveland ranked just 26th in the majors in isolated power this season — but Yankees pitchers gave up 83 home runs, fifth worst in the majors and the most of any playoff team. Indians catchers have the worst offensive production of any team’s catchers in at least 100 years. Their collective batting line — .128/.242/.189 – is almost hard to fathom. But Roberto Perez, Austin Hedges and Sandy Leon might be the best defensive catchers any team has ever gathered, and they have coaxed Cleveland’s pitching staff to the league’s best ERA+ in at least 100 years.
It’s ace and expected AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber (8-1) on the mound. Bieber allowed only an unearned run over five innings and fanned 10 against the White Sox last Wednesday. Bieber finished with a 1.63 ERA in 12 starts. He struck out 122 batters over the course of 12 starts. Not once did he strike out fewer than eight batters.
Bieber doesn’t give up many hits, walks about two batters per nine innings and averaged 14.2 K’s per nine. You can try to run up his pitch count — he had two five-inning starts this year with 103 and 98 pitches. But if you try to work the count and get to two strikes, batters hit just .096. His least effective pitch was his cutter, against which batters hit .289/.325/.474.
Bieber was slated to start Game 4 of the 2018 American League Division Series, but he never toed the rubber after the Indians were swept in three games. Now he’ll have his chance.
Expert PredictionIndians 3, Yankees 2
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