The Indians are proving to be a pain in the ass for the Yankees this weekend, taking the first two games of a four-game series at the Stadium. And this handicapper likes the Tribe's chances of making it three in a row Saturday afternoon.
Tribe-Yanks Saturday Odds
In the early betting the best MLB odds we could find on New York with Luis Severino was the -123 offered at 5Dimes, while Cleveland and Danny Salazar were getting +123 at Heritage. And most of today's MLB betting market listed a total of eight runs on today's game, with a few 7.5's out there, too.
Cleveland has taken the first two games of this four-game series, including a 7-3 decision Friday night. Coming into this series the Indians had lost four of their previous five games, while New York had won six of its previous seven.
The Tribe now leads this season series four games to one, with the OVERS going 3-2.
At 67-54 the Yankees' lead in the AL East is back down to a half-game over second-place Toronto.
At 57-64 Cleveland ain't quite dead yet, trailing the Angels by 5.5 games in the race for the second American League wild-card slot.
Severino (0-2, 3.18), by our tough standards, is one-for-three on quality starts since joining the New York rotation earlier this month, but that ratio is a bit misleading. Last Sunday he gave up three runs in six innings against a tough Toronto lineup, while just before that he held this Cleveland team to two runs through six innings. So through his three starts Severino has allowed six earned runs through 17 innings, with four walks and 18 strikeouts.
New York, thanks to some poor run support, is 0-3 in Severino's starts, with the UNDERS going 2-1.
This will be Severino's second start against the Indians; back on Aug. 11, as mentioned above, he held the Tribe to two runs on seven hits through six innings, with one walk and two whiffs, although the Yankees eventually lost that game 5-4.
Salazar (11-6, 3.16) is 13-for-22 on quality starts, working on a run of five in a row. Monday he held Boston to one run through seven innings, and over his last five starts he's held foes to five ER through 35 innings. On the season Salazar has permitted fewer hits, 107, than innings pitched, 140, walked 41 and struck out 156 for a K/BB ratio of almost 4/1.
The Indians, a team that's seven games under .500 overall, are 14-8 in Salazar's starts, with the totals splitting 11-11.
In his only career start against New York, back on Aug. 12, Salazar allowed just one run and four hits, with five walks and eight strikeouts, in a 2-1 Tribe victory.
Saturday's Batting Splits
Cleveland ranks 18th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .251 team batting average and 12th with a .319 team OBP.
New York, meanwhile, ranks 19th against righties with a .251 team BA and 14th with a .317 team OBP.
But we still give the Yanks the edge with the sticks, because of some of the power numbers.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Yankee Stadium are 28-26 on the OVERS this season, averaging 9.3 runs per, fourth-most among all ML ballparks.
New York 1B Mark Teixeira has missed recent action with a sore leg, and he's questionable for today.
Indians-Yanks Saturday Free Picks
We'll give Salazar the edge in the pitching match-up, New York the edge with the sticks, and the bullpens are about even. But we like the value on the line with Cleveland, so we will back the hot pitcher with our MLB picks this afternoon. Also, we like both these starters at the moment, so we're thinking runs might be a little difficult to come by today.
Free Picks: Indians and UNDER eight runs (-115) at 5Dimes