Game 2: New York Yankees (81-42) vs. Cleveland Indians (72-50)
New York Yankees: 5.6 Runs, -150 ML, Cleveland Indians: 4.8 Runs, +130 ML
I was skeptical of the Yankees bullpen plan against this solid Indians lineup yesterday – and sure enough New York had to employ a scramble strategy from the first inning on when their opener Chad Green gave up an early grand slam. In the end, the Yankees had to employ 5 pitchers, all but one of whom took an absolute beating on the way to a 19-5 loss.
Today, the Yanks hand the ball to Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka came into the MLB a revelation – an All Star in his first season. However, he has been progressively less reliable throughout his career. Blame it on the juiced baseball if you must, but Tanaka has highest ERA of his career this season at 4.64. Four of his last 5 starts have gone over the total, as have 8 of his last 11.
Two Indians batters show-up on Rotowires Hot Batter Match-ups list. Carlos Santana has a .923 OPS against Tanaka in 13 at-bats over the past year. Yesterday;s hero, Jose Ramirez has 6 hits over his last 11 at-bats against Tanaka, good for a 1.311 OPS.
Cleveland starts rookie, Aaron Civale, who has been sensational over his first three starts in the big leagues. Civale (1-1, 1.00 ERA) has yet to give up a big league HR so far in 18 innings of work. That will change one day. Civale has never in his life faced a lineup with as many potent bats as these Yankees. Maybe it won’t be this game – but the rude awakening is definitely coming for the 24-year old, where he will get to see what life is really like up here.
I’m not sure who I trust more here – the wily vet, having his roughest season yet, or the nascent rook yet to have his first struggle-filled outing. In the end, I trust neither – which is why I’ll take the Over 10.5 runs, currently at a -106 price at FanDuel. The Yankees will smell blood going for a revenge against the young pitcher, and the Yankees bullpen will have little in reserve if Tanaka has another bad day.
Trends to Consider
In sports betting most trends will be attributable to noise. However, when their are several trends going in your favor, it’s never a bad thing. The trend is your friend, in the end.
Generally thought of as a pitching team, the Indians bats have gotten lively lately. Four of their past 5 games have gone over the total. The Tribe has averaged a Yankee-like 5.7 runs per game in the month of August. Not to be outdone, the Yankees have scored an average of 7.2 runs per game for the month.
In this series between the Yankees and Indians the Over is on a 3-0 streak and a 10-4 streak. The over is 21-6 over the last 27 Yankee games.
Whenever the Yankees give up a bunch of runs, there seems to be another offensive explosion the next time out. The last five times the Yankees have given up 10+ runs, there is an average of 15.6 combined runs scored in the next game and the Over is 5-0.