MLB Betting: Indians at Yankees Odds
By Steven Wisner
If you’re not wagering with BookMaker Sportsbook then you’re just another square bettor. Shop for MLB lines where the pros do so register for your own betting account at BookMaker now! The ballgame pitting the Cleveland Indians versus the New York Yankees will commence Friday, August 5, 2016, at 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium. The matchup will be televised regionally on YES and SportsTime Ohio.
The Yankees did the unthinkable earlier this week and became sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline. Part of that included trading away ace reliever Andrew Miller to the Indians. Miller and the Tribe return to the Big Apple on Friday night to kick off a three game weekend series.
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The Yankees have actually played six games over-.500 since May, but have been treading water at the .500 mark since June.
A nice winning streak at the end of July almost threw off the team’s plan to rebuild towards 2017 and beyond, but New York has now dropped five of six, falling back to .500 as of Wednesday.
New York isn’t used to being a mediocre team and bettors aren’t used to it either. That’s evident by the team’s -$512 total moneyline.
The Yankees’ opposition in Cleveland sits in the positive at $535 and sit atop the AL Central. It hasn’t been all good recently, however.
Cleveland played Baltimore two weeks ago and was swept. Including that series, the Indians are 4-6 over their last 10 games as of Wednesday, including dropping the first two of a four game set against Minnesota.
The trade deadline threw off the Yankees’ rotation and Friday’s starter has yet to be announced by Yankee manager Joe Giardi.
With Ivan Nova gone, Chad Green gets a chance in the rotation and Luis Severino stays in the bullpen, at least for now. Provided that’s the only change to the rotation, the ball should go to Michael Pineda on Friday.
Pineda continues to be an enigma for New York. The 27-year old right-hander has all the stuff, but the results haven’t been there. He’s still young enough that it could all click, but that hasn’t happened in 2016.
Imagines of his 13-game stint in 2014 keep hope alive. He went 5-5 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.825 WHIP that year, but last year his ERA jumped to 4.37 and it’s up to 5.13 through 21 games this year.
In addition to that inflated ERA, Pineda is only 5-10 with a 1.349 WHIP. He’s striking out batters still. In fact his 10.8 strikeout per nine inning ratio is the best of any starter in the league, but he’s allowing more home runs than ever before, giving up 20 already, and has an opponent batting average of .265 and opponent OPS of .793.
There is some reason for optimism as his BABIP against is .335, that’s driven his ERA well above his FIP of 3.89, but can we really expect that to lower too much considering it was the same number last year? Pineda gets a lot of swing and miss, but he’s also prone to leaving the ball up and out over the plate and the other team isn’t going to miss too many fat pitches.
While the Yankees’ Friday night starter seems to continually under perform his stuff, the Indians’ starter on Friday, Josh Tomlin, is just the opposite.
At 11-3, Tomlin has been a pleasant surprise for the Indians this year with a 3.43 ERA and 1.110 WHIP in 19 starts. That’s built off of a 10 start stint last year where he went 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA. As a result, this has now been a rather extended period of success for the 31-year old right-hander.
Part of what makes Tomlin so successful has been his ability to avoid the walk, making batters earn their way on base. He’s leading the AL with just one walk per nine innings and he’s actually walked just 14 all year.
Of course, being in the zone that much does leave him open to being hit and he has been bit and hit hard. He’s already allowed 25 home runs in just 120 2/3 innings. Fortunately for him, many of those bombs have come without anyone on base thanks to his low walk rate.
The Yankees are a patient, veteran team—though that’s changed a bit with them selling at the deadline. Nevertheless, they’ve still got a number of veterans up and down the order who will need to adjust their approach off of Tomlin who will be in the strike zone and can be beat of the opposition swings the bat early in the count.
Both Detroit and Baltimore are known to be free swinging teams and both had success against Tomlin this past month.
At the deadline the Indians added Miller from the Yankees and grabbed a platoon outfielder in Brandon Guyer from the Rays.
Guyer is a great hitter against southpaws, but mediocre against right-handers. In 82 plate appearances against lefties this year, he’s hitting .344 with four homers and a 1.082 OPS. Against right-handers he’s batting .196 in 167 plate appearances.
Terry Francona figures to use him almost exclusively as a platoon player against lefties and late inning defensive replacement. That won’t come into play against Pineda, but could late in the game in a pinch hit spot.
Outside of Guyer, the Indians otherwise failed to upgrade the lineup. They had a deal in place for Jonathan Lucroy, but he rejected it. That leaves catcher a huge question mark. Yan Gomes is out and was hitting only .165 when he was playing. Backups Chris Gimenez and Roberto Perez are hitting .202 and .083 respectively.
Even with the black hole behind the plate, Cleveland has still scored the sixth most runs in baseball. The team did make one upgrade by releasing veteran third baseman Juan Uribe. That’ll allow Jose Ramirez to slide into the infield and give Rajai Davis and Abraham Almonte more playing time.
Cleveland has outscored the Yankees by 70 runs this year and have scored 25 more since the All-Star break.
In 18 games since the break, New York has scored just 55 runs, tied for the least in the AL. That’s barely three runs per game.
It really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Out of 17 players with at least 10 plate appearances, just three have OPS+ numbers over 96 and one of them is now a Texas Ranger: Carlos Beltran. That leaves Brian McCann, with a .236 average, and Didi Gregorius with a .318 OBP as the only two that’ve amassed enough offensive value to sport an OPS+ in the triple digits.
Gary Sanchez is getting the promotion to the big leagues and perhaps he can provide a spark, but it’s doubtful he can do anything Beltran didn’t and New York’s poor offensive numbers were accumulated with Beltran in the order.
The Yankees are a .500 team, which is more than the Twins can say and they’ve handed Cleveland a couple losses of late. New York is also at home where they’re 29-22. Nevertheless, Cleveland statistically is the better team in every facet of the game.
On the mound, Pineda has been the definition of inconsistent while Tomlin has a nice matchup against a struggling offense.
At the plate, we’ve already examined the run differentials between Cleveland and New York. Meanwhile, in the bullpen the Indians pull ahead as well with Miller added to Cody Allen in the back end.
MLB Odds: Indians 6, Yankees 3