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Series preview: Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees

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The offense came alive over the weekend. They look to keep it up against the kings of the AL East, the New York Yankees.

Give me back my mojo!
Give me back my mojo!
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

I am uncertain an off day is what this team needed after the weekend they had. The Indians could easily have swept the Twins, but had to settle for a series win, after losing the opener (as usual). They now welcome the New York Yankees to Progressive. The Yankees are in first place in the AL East, but by only 1.5 games over the Blue Jays.

  • Tuesday, 7:10 PM: Luis Severino (R) vs. Carlos Carrasco (R)
  • Wednesday, 7:10 PM: CC Sabathia (L)vs. Danny Salazar (R)
  • Thursday, 12:10 PM: Nathan Eovaldi (R) vs. Trevor Bauer (R)

This will be the first meeting this season between these longtime AL rivals. The Yankees took control of the AL East right before the Fourth of July and had pushed their lead to 7 games as recently as July 28, but they have gone 4-7 since then, including a sweep by those Blue Jays over the weekend where they scored just one run (!) in 28 innings.

Coming Up: The Indians head back on the road for another three-city tour after this series. First up will be the Twins, then stops in Fenway to play the Red Sox and then to the Bronx to face these Yankees again.

Division Watch: Tigers at Royals, Rangers at Twins, Angels at White Sox.

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Team in a Box

New York Yankees

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2015 Record

61-49

Runs/Game

4.8

2nd

Runs/Game

4.3

8th

AL East

1st

OBP

326

3rd

H/9

8.6

9th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

431

3rd

BB/9

2.6

4th

Last 30

18-12

Steals

40

13th

SO/9

8.3

3rd

While this team is far from the Bronx Bombers of old, they still are beating teams with their offense. They are sixth in doubles and third in home runs. They also have great patience, hence the third in OBP. Pitching wise they are fairly mediocre, finishing in the middle third in most categories.  Defensively they are thirteenth in errors and fielding percentage.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Brian McCann

L

358

245

775

111

1B

Mark Teixeira

S

433

263

937

154

2B

Stephen Drew

L

325

192

639

74

3B

Chase Headley

S

440

272

716

99

SS

Didi Gregorius

L

379

261

659

83

LF

Brett Gardner

L

447

285

814

127

CF

Jacoby Ellsbury

L

292

267

698

96

RF

Carlos Beltran

S

325

261

760

109

DH

Alex Rodriguez

R

440

275

905

149

OF

Chris Young

R

278

261

803

119

OF

Garrett Jones

L

152

215

618

68

C

John Ryan Murphy

R

114

288

722

98

IF

Brendan Ryan

R

51

271

755

105

Teixeira has been the main catalyst over the past two weeks. He has a 293/408/756 line and six bombs. Beltran and Young both have OPS north of 1000 as well. McCann only has a 758 OPS, but three homers. Gardner (644 OPS), Drew (600) and Ellsbury (563) have all really struggled.

McCann only has eleven games of data against the Tribe with a 701 OPS, but Teixeira, has a very nice 309/408/546 line, with 16 homers and 70 RBI in 77 games. Drew has a 549 OPS in 18 games while Gregorius and Headley have just seven games between them against the Indians. Gardner has a nice 307/390/425 line in 36 games, while Ellsbury is 294/356/418 in 42 games. Beltran has been pretty average, 798 OPS in 87 games, while A-Rod has a 299/383/568 line, 32 homers and 107 RBI in 126 games. Ryan has always driven me crazy because he has a weird 213/366/307 line. He walks a ton against us.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Nathan Eovaldi

R

4.15

3.63

123.2

1.47

6.4

CC Sabathia

L

5.34

4.71

123.0

1.42

7.7

Masahiro Tanaka

R

3.79

4.17

99.2

1.02

8.3

Ivan Nova

R

3.52

4.34

46.0

1.26

6.1

Luis Severino

R

1.80

2.90

5.0

0.40

12.6

Andrew Miller

L

1.66

2.57

38.0

0.76

13.0

Dellin Betances

R

1.26

1.79

57.1

0.86

14.3

Chasen Shreve

L

2.06

3.74

43.2

1.01

9.7

Justin Wilson

L

2.43

2.63

40.2

1.06

9.5

Adam Warren

R

3.38

3.81

101.0

1.17

6.5

Bryan Mitchell

R

4.41

3.77

16.1

1.35

8.3

Branden Pinder

R

2.81

4.73

16.0

1.13

6.2

This team, like the Royals, is one where the offense has to hit the starters well. They do not want to face one of the league's top bullpens to make a comeback. Miller, Betances, Shreve and Wilson are all very good. Warren is good as well and did make 14 starts this year.

Severino was signed in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic. He is just 21 and made his debut last week, taking the loss in a 2-1 result against the Red Sox. He only gave up two hits and struck out 7 in five innings, with Big Papi taking him deep. Sabathia has been a mess most of this year. He missed April and hasn't been super effective at all. In his last five, he has been good or bad, 4.50 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 7.1 K/9 in 28 IP. He is 4-1 in seven starts against his former team, 2.94 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 9.4 K/9, but hasn't had a start since 2013. Eovaldi has made the most Yankee starts on the year. He is 3-0 in his past five, 3.23 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 6.2 K/9 in 30.2 IP. He made one superb Tribe start back in 2013 when with the Marlins.

On the Shelf

  • OF Dustin Ackley [15 day DL], possible late August return
  • P Diego Moreno [15 day DL], possible mid-August return
  • SP Michael Pineda [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • P Sergio Santos [60 day DL], out for season
  • P Chase Whitley [60 day DL], out for season
  • OF Mason Williams [60 day DL], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

-

-

-

-

-

-

2014

4

3

571

34

27

604

Last 5*

11

24

314

120

201

280

Last 10*

24

46

343

287

389

364

All-Time

875

1109

441

8414

9599

440

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: I'd love to call for a series win, but this is one team we do not match up well with at all. They can basically put in an all left handed lineup and I foresee our lineup struggling with Severino. Besides, it is a series opener at home. I think they beat Sabathia or Eovaldi to salvage one win out of three.