Cleveland Indians (14-17) +120, o/u 9 at New York Yankees (17-16), 7:05 pm Eastern Tuesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
Two teams headed in different directions in recent days meet when the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees kick off a three-game series beginning Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
Baseball Bookmakers list New York and Andy Pettitte as -135 home favorites, with an over/under of 9, while Cleveland and Fausto Carmona are getting around +120 as road underdogs.
The Indians have lost five of their last seven games, thanks in large part to a pathetic offensive attack that has produced five runs over the last three games. So going into this week’s action, Cleveland sits in third place in the AL Central, 2 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins.
Meanwhile, New York is coming off a three-game home sweep of Seattle in which the Yanks outscored the Mariners 19-4. So going into Tuesday’s play, New York is tied for second place in the AL East with Tampa Bay, 3 games back of the division-leading Boston Red Sox.
These two teams split four games in Cleveland two weekends ago, and three of the games stayed under their totals, as the teams combined to score a total of 25 runs. Last year, New York swept the regular-season series from the Tribe six games to none, but Cleveland beat the Yanks three games to one in the first round of the playoffs.
So over the last 14 games in the series between these two teams, New York has won nine times, and the o/u has gone 6-7-1, as the games have averaged 9.4 total runs per.
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This season, the Indians are 6-6 on the road, 3-3 as underdogs, and 13-18 vs. the run line. On the other side of this match-up, the Yankees are 8-7 at home this year, 13-11 as chalk, and 14-18 vs. the run line.
Carmona (3-1, 2.60, 1.73 WHIP this season), over his last three starts, which includes a decent performance in a 7-2 loss to Seattle last Tuesday, has allowed six ER and 33 baserunners (hits + walks) in 18 1/3 IP. Cleveland is 3-3 in Carmona’s starts this year, the o/u a perfect 6-0.
Carmona started three games vs. New York last year, including once in the playoffs, giving up seven ER and 21 BR in 22 innings of work. The Tribe went 1-2 in those three games, the o/u 1-2.
Over his last three starts, which includes a poor performance in a 6-2 loss to Detroit last Wednesday, Pettitte (3-3, 3.93, 1.42) has allowed nine ER and 23 BR in 18 IP. The Yanks are 3-3 in Pettitte’s starts this season, the o/u a perfect 0-6.
Pettitte made two starts vs. Cleveland last year, including one in the playoffs, and started once in that series with the Indians two weeks ago. In those games, the veteran lefty gave up six ER and 29 BR in 18 2/3 IP. New York went 1-2 in those three games, the o/u 0-3.
Offensively speaking, the Indians rank 17th in the majors in team OBP at .325, 26th in team slugging at .362, and are averaging 4.3 runs per game.
On the other line-up card, the Yanks rank 14th in OBP at .331, 12th in slugging at .415, and are averaging 4.5 RPG.
The Cleveland bullpen, over its last five games, has pitched 13 1/3 innings, allowing eight ER and 19 BR.
On the other side, the New York pen has given up five ER and 18 BR over its last five games, covering 16 1/3 innings of work.
On the injury front, the Yanks are still without both 3B Alex Rodriguez and catcher Jorge Posada, who are on the DL with various ailments.
The o/u is 14-16 in Indians games this season, which are averaging 8.4 total runs per, while the totals are 11-21 in New York games, which are averaging 8.9 runs. Also, games played at Yankee Stadium this year are averaging 9.4 total runs, after averaging 11.1 runs last year.
And while eight of Cleveland’s last 10 games have gone under their totals, seven of the Yanks’ last 10 have also stayed under.
Zman’s Pick: We like the Indians’ chances here as a live underdog. Take the Tribe!