ALDS preview: Yankees vs Indians

yankees-vs-indians1

New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians

-Game #1 (at Cleveland) – Thursday @ 7:30 pm

Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55) vs Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19)

-Game #2 (at Cleveland) – Friday @ 5:00 pm

C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69) vs Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.25)

-Game #3 (at New York) – Sunday @ 7:30 pm

Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74) vs Carlos Carrasco (18-6, 3.29)

-Game #4 (at New York) – October 9th – TBA*

Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98) vs Josh Tomlin (10-9, 4.98)

-Game #5 (at Cleveland) – October 11th – TBA*

Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA) vs Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.25)

*- if necessary

Projected lineups

New York:

LF- Brett Gardner (.264, 21, 63)

RF- Aaron Judge (.284, 52, 114)

C- Gary Sanchez (.278, 33, 90)

SS; Didi Gregorius (.287, 25, 87)

2B- Starlin Castro  (.300, 16, 63)

1B- Greg Bird (.190, 9, 28)

CF- Aaron Hicks (.266, 15, 52)

DH- Jacoby Ellsbury (.264, 7, 39)

3B- Todd Frazier (.211, 27, 76)

Cleveland:

SS- Francisco Lindor (.273; 33, 89)

CF- Jason Kipnis (.232, 7, 26)

2B- Jose Ramirez (.318, 29, 83)

DH- Edwin Encarnacion (.258, 38, 107)

RF- Jay Bruce (.254, 36, 101)

1B- Carlos Santana (.259, 23, 79)

LF- Lonnie Chisenhall (.288, 12, 53)

C- Roberto Perez (.207, 8, 38)

3B- Giovanny Urshela (.224, 1, 15)

Tuesday night’s 8-4 wildcard win over the Minnesota Twins puts the Yankees into the American League Division series against the 102 win Cleveland Indians.  In the season series between the two teams the Indians won five of the seven games.  Both Bauer (2-0, 1.38) and Kluber (2-0, 1.59) pitched very well in their two starts against New York this season. Kluber defeated Sonny Gray and the Yankees on 8/3/17 going the distance for the complete game.

 

These teams have the two best bullpens in the American League if not the major leagues. The Yankees bullpen features Dellin Betances, David Robertson and closer Aroldis Chapman.  The Indians bullpen is headlined by former Yankee Andrew Miller, closer Cody Allen and lefty Tyler Olson who has not allowed a run this season in 30 appearances covering 20 innings.

The offenses are no slouches either as these are the top two teams in run differential with the Indians leading the way at a league best +254 followed by the Yankees at +198.  The Indians lineup features power hitters Edwin Encarnacion (38 HR), Jay Bruce (36 HR), Francisco Lindor (33 HR) and MVP candidate Jose Ramirez (.318, 29, 83).  The Yankees are lead by rookie Aaron Judge and his American League leading 52 home runs. Gary Sanchez (33 HR) and Didi Gregorius (25 HR) are two other middle of the order threats in the Yankees lineup.

Both teams boast powerful lineups and shutdown bullpens.  The key to the series could be the starting rotations.  The Indians have the clear advantage as their rotation is the strength of the team.  They say good pitching always beats good hitting and if that holds true the Indians should find themselves advancing to the ALCS for the second consecutive season.

Prediction:  Cleveland Indians in four

 

 

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