The Yankees just scored one run in a three-game sweep at the hands of Toronto, and begin a three-game series with the Indians at the Prog Tuesday night as underdogs. But might that set them up for a play?
Yanks-Tribe Tuesday Odds
As of this writing Tuesday morning the best line available on Cleveland with Carlos Carrasco was the -118 offered at BetOnline, while New York and rookie righty Luis Severino were getting +114 at GT Bets. Also, many books opened their total on this game at 7.5 runs, then dropped the hook in the early betting.
New York, somewhat surprisingly, just got swept three games at home over the weekend by the Toronto Blue Jays, scoring a total of one run in the process. The Yanks lost 2-1 Friday, then got shut out both Saturday and Sunday. In fact, that's five games in a row they've been held to two runs or less. They then had Monday off, perhaps much-needed, to clear some heads.
At 61-49 New York's lead in the AL East is down to a game and a half over the surging Blue Jays.
Cleveland, meanwhile, just took two of three games at home from Minnesota, scoring 34 runs over the weekend. The Indians lost 10-9 Friday, but put up 17 in a victory Saturday and eight more in another win Sunday. For the Tribe it was its first series victory in almost a month.
At 51-59 Cleveland is basically playing out the string on this season.
It's almost hard to believe but this is the first meeting this season between these teams; last year the Tribe took four of seven games from the Yanks, with the OVERS going 4-3.
Carrasco (11-8, 3.76), by our tough standards, is 11-for-22 on quality starts this season, and four for his last five. Two starts ago he tossed a complete game against Oakland, allowing just one run and two hits, walking one while whiffing seven; and last time out he tossed nine innings of one-hit, shutout ball at the Angels, again walking one while whiffing seven, in game the Tribe eventually won in 12 innings. Other than a couple of burps Carrasco is going great since about mid-June. On the season he's allowed fewer hits, 120, than innings pitched, 136, walked 28 and struck out 147, for a super 5/1 ratio.
Cleveland, a team that's eight games under .500 overall, is 13-9 in Carrasco's starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 14-8 margin.
Severino (0-1, 1.80) will be making his second career ML start; last Wednesday, in his Big League debut, he limited Boston to two runs – one earned – and two hits through five innings, although New York lost that game 2-1.
Severino, a 21-year-old, top-50 prospect, blazed up the Minors pretty good, going 23-11 with a 2.30 ERA in parts of four seasons on the bus circuit. He got the call from the Big Club after going 7-0/1.91 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this summer, allowing just 40 hits through 61 innings, with 17 walks and 50 strikeouts.
Obviously, this will be Severino's first start against Cleveland.
Tuesday's Batting Splits
New York ranks 12th this season against right-handed pitching with a .257 team batting average, and ninth with a .322 team on-base percentage. Cleveland, meanwhile, ranks 18th against righties with a .251 average but 11th with a .320 team OBP. The Yanks still own an edge with the sticks, averaging 4.8 runs per game, second-most in the Majors, but on this split it might be closer than first glance.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Prog this season are 31-24 on the OVERS, averaging 9.3 runs per, sixth-most among all ML ballparks.
Yanks-Tribe Tuesday Free Picks
New York just got swept at home, while Cleveland just racked up five touchdowns over the weekend, but baseball is a funny game, and we won't be surprised if the Yankees begin their road trip with a victory. In fact, we'll bet on it. Also, both starters could be in line for quality outings, and we rank both these bullpens among the top eight or so in baseball. So despite the ballpark skew on the totals we'll take the UNDER.
MLB Picks: New York and UNDER seven runs (-110) at Heritage