New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians
Series start: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 – 07:00 PM EDT at Progressive Field
Best of Three Series
The Yankees will face the Indians in the Wild Card Series as a five seed with the Indians being a four seed. Currently, the MLB odds are pretty tight in all Wild Card match-ups, but this one stands out. The Yankees are healthy and with that comes a premier lineup that will include Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and so many other power bats. The injuries are exactly why this team is a five seed in the playoffs.
It’s funny though. Stanton, Judge, and even Gary Sanchez haven’t really produced much this season in September. DJ LeMahieu and Luke Vit have been the two guys with the most production. It will be hard against an Indians pitching staff that might be the best in baseball all-around.
The one hurdle the Yankees always run through is their pitching. The starting pitching is never good enough for the Yankees. They’ll need to keep things tight against the Indians as the Indians have the pitching staff but not much hitting. Gerrit Cole was the new addition for the Yankees in the off-season. He’s had some brilliant post-season’s in his career and he’ll really need to add another one here.
Cole had a team-best seven wins with a 2.84 ERA along with 94 strikeouts. He threw 79 innings this season. Happ was second in innings this season with just 49.1. After Cole, there’s a drop off with their starting pitching. Happ has a 3.47 ERA, Masahiro Tanaka has a 3.56 ERA, but then there’s Jordan Montgomery with a 5.11 ERA and Deivi Garcia (who has potential). He has a 4.98 ERA in 34.1 innings.
The question will be whether or not the Yankees offense can get to the Indians pitching staff.
The Indians staff features AL Cy Young candidate Shane Bieber, who has a 1.63 ERA in 77.1 innings along with solid starters like Carlos Carrasco, Zach Plesac, Triston McKenzie (could be relief pitching in the playoffs), and Aaron Civale (who just isn’t like the others this season, but is durable.)
The Indians are an under team with just Jose Ramirez producing consistent offense. The pitching got the Indians into the playoffs, while the Yankees' hitting got them into the postseason. There aren’t too many pitchers that can keep up with Shane Bieber, Gerrit Cole is one of them. It’s also fair to believe that Tanaka can stick around with Carrasco, as both of these pitchers have dominated in the playoffs throughout their careers.
In a three-game series, the Yankees have enough pitching and much better hitting to win the first two games of the three-game series. If it reaches a third game, Zach Plesac will make a start for the Indians. The Yankees haven’t announced a starter for the third game. Back the Yankees to win the first two and take them to win the series.
MLB Pick: Yankees to win the series against the Indians (-135) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
World Series Outright Picks
NL Longshot World Series Pick
When looking at a World Series outright, it’s important to play out each scenario in the bracket-like format. Sure, the Dodgers and Padres are the clear favorites to win the NL this season, but these teams could potentially see each other in the second round. For example, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round of the playoffs. But if the San Diego Padres defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round, the Dodgers will have a tough time against the Padres.
On the other hand, in the NL, the Atlanta Braves face a Cincinnati Reds team that has the pitching to run through the bottom of the NL bracket as a seven seed. The Reds have Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo, two ace pitchers along with a lineup that is starting to produce.
We know the first game of the Reds and Braves game will be Max Fried against Trevor Bauer. But after Fried, the Braves don’t have much pitching. It’s the offense that got Atlanta to this point.
Let’s say the Reds upset the Braves with premier pitching, they’ll have to face the Cubs or Marlins in the second round. Going into the playoffs, I wouldn’t be high on either one of those teams. The Reds could ultimately get the National League Championship and make a run for the World Series against the Padres or Dodgers.
The Reds could honestly sneak into the World Series this season if they can capitalize on the Braves' poor pitching in the first round. For the Reds, I see a path to at least the NL Championship. The bats just need to stay hot going into the playoffs behind some solid pitching on this team.
Again, this is a long shot selection. It deserves a minimal wager for a big gain if it wins on the best betting sites.
AL World Series Pick
The Tampa Bay Rays are just 6-4 against the Toronto Blue Jays this season. Sure, it’s a winning record, but you’d hope for a bigger gap between a one seed and an eight seed. Like I wrote above, I’d expect the Yankees to defeat the Indians in a three-game series. Therefore, you’re either getting the Rays or Blue Jays in the second round of the playoffs. The Yankees are a combined 7-13 against these two teams this year.
Mainly, it’s the Rays that dominate the Yankees with an 8-2 record against New York. The Rays do all of the little things correctly. They don’t have any star power or any big names in the lineup, Yet, they’re the number one seed and just find ways to win. The team strikes out way too many times, but they’ve saved so many runs defensively and with solid base running. If the Rays defeat the Blue Jays, as expected, the Yankees might have a hard time against the Rays, obviously, as they’re just 2-8 against the Rays.
At the bottom of the AL bracket, the Minnesota Twins face a Houston Astros team that can’t cheat. Because of that, elevated numbers from a couple of years ago are now low. That’s just the reality. They’ll face a Twins team that can score a bunch of runs in one inning. The pitching has been fine for the Twins. Let’s say the Twins come out and defeat the Astros, as expected. Then they’d face the Oakland Athletics or Chicago White Sox.
The Athletics would dominate the Astros if an Athletics/Astros series came to fruition at the bottom of the bracket as they’re already 7-3 against Houston. If the White Sox beat the Athletics, we’d have a Twins/White Sox series. The Twins and White Sox are tied at 5-5 apiece, it would be extremely hard to evaluate that series.
However, it should be noted that the Twins have a 13-7 record against the NL this season. The offense can do damage and the pitching includes ace pitcher Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Randy Dobnak, Michael Pineda, and Rich Hill, who has been a part of many playoff teams in the past. I’d like the Twins to come out of the AL and with their AL-best record against NL, the Twins have the potential to finally win it all.