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ALDS Game 5 Preview: New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians

The Tribe are back home in Cleveland to see if they can win it all and move on to the ALCS.

The Cleveland Indians had a rough two games in the Bronx. The New York Yankees outscored them 8-3 over two games. But now they’re back in Cleveland with their ace on the mound, and the Yankees will need more than the comfort of home to win this game. Will the day off in between kill the Yanks momentum? Or will they be able to pick up right where they left off?

Pitching Matchups: CC Sabathia (LHP) vs Corey Kluber (RHP)

This is a fantastic pitching matchup and a tough one for the Yankees. There’s a reason they call Kluber “Klubot.”

He’s methodical, he likes his routine, and he’s most dangerous now when pitching on his standard four days’ rest. Posting a 2.25 ERA on the year with 256 strikeouts, runs will not be easy to come by. I would say the Yankees should try to wear him down early, but even that will be difficult to do.

Sabathia, despite having a 3.69 ERA on the year, has nearly the same record as Kluber at 14-5. However, that ERA is something to keep an eye on. While it is on the higher side, Sabathia could get those wins because the offense could put up more runs than he would give up. That most likely won’t be the case tonight. Then there’s his postseason ERA, which is also high at 4.47.

Projected Lineups

YankeesHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Brett Gardner, LF21.264.350
Aaron Judge, RF52.284.422
Didi Gregorius, SS25.287.318
Gary Sanchez, C33.278.368
Greg Bird, 1B9.190.288
Starlin Castro, 2B16.300.388
Aaron Hicks, CF15.266.372
Jacoby Ellsbury, DH 7.264.348
Todd Frazier, 3B2.213.365


IndiansHome RunsBatting AverageOn-Base Percentage
Francisco Lindor, SS33.273.337
Jason Kipnis, CF12.232.291
Jose Ramirez, 2B29.318.347
Edwin Encarnacion, DH38.258.377
Carlos Santana, 1B23.259.363
Austin Jackson, LF7.318.387
Jay Bruce, RF36.254.331
Roberto Perez, C8.209.291
Giovanny Urshela, 3B1.224.262


Who’s hot, and who’s not

Aaron Judge has been on a tear in these past four games. Despite getting off to a slow start this postseason, he has a slugging percentage at 1.105 and leads the team in wRC+ with 304. After putting up a record 52 home runs in the regular season the rookie has shown no signs of slowing down. Which is good because the Yankees will take any extra runs they can get tonight against Kluber.

Cleveland’s offense, however, has not been so fortunate. Over the past week, they’re only batting .248 collectively. Both Lindor and Ramirez have been ice cold, and it’s been apparent in these last two games. Cleveland only managed to put up three total runs while the Yankees dominated them with nine. It may suffice for tonight with Kluber on the mound but if they plan to go deeper into the postseason, the bats will need to get hot once again.

Prediction: Indians 4- Yankees 2

The Yankees are far from the comforts of home. They won’t have the energy of Yankee Stadium to feed their momentum. With Kluber on the mound on his regular rest, I just don’t see them getting the better of the Tribe tonight. Cleveland has everything in place to finish strong here in Game 5.

Where to watch

Today’s game will start at 8:00 PM EST and will be broadcast on FS1.


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Christina Cola

Christina Cola is a writer, comedian, performer from Brooklyn, and a long-suffering/optimistic Mets fan since 1998.  For the past two years, Christina has written for the Magnet Theater's house sketch team The Executives. She has also been a contributor to Funny or Die and Reductress.com. Currently, she is an independent contributor to the Mets Blog Risingapple.com.  Christina has recently made the move to Los Angeles and does not have a Brooklyn accent, but will be happy to break it out for you upon request.

ALDS Game 5 Preview: New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians

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