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.
|Yankees||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Brett Gardner, LF||21||.264||.350|
|Aaron Judge, RF||52||.284||.422|
|Didi Gregorius, SS||25||.287||.318|
|Gary Sanchez, C||33||.278||.368|
|Greg Bird, 1B||9||.190||.288|
|Starlin Castro, 2B||16||.300||.388|
|Aaron Hicks, CF||15||.266||.372|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, DH||7||.264||.348|
|Todd Frazier, 3B||2||.213||.365|
|Indians||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Francisco Lindor, SS||33||.273||.337|
|Jason Kipnis, CF||12||.232||.291|
|Jose Ramirez, 2B||29||.318||.347|
|Edwin Encarnacion, DH||38||.258||.377|
|Carlos Santana, 1B||23||.259||.363|
|Austin Jackson, LF||7||.318||.387|
|Jay Bruce, RF||36||.254||.331|
|Roberto Perez, C||8||.209||.291|
|Giovanny Urshela, 3B||1||.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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