Tonight the New York Yankees will be playing their 7th consecutive game on the road, where they will be visiting the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland will be throwing out Trevor Bauer (7-2) 3.02 ERA to face Ivan Nova (5-5) 5.06 ERA. Cleveland opened as money line favorites (-159), but have dipped below (-150) place, with about 65% of the bets coming in on Cleveland.
Bauer has been a central part to Cleveland’s pitching staff’s success. He was drafted 3rd overall for a reason, he gets strikeouts, has a great HR/9 rate of (0.66), has a superb ERA/FIP, and he has even brought down his BB/9 rate compared to his last two seasons. He’s had plenty of time to rest after going 5 innings in their 19 inning victory over Toronto, which was June 27th.
Nova has been inconsistent all season, where he’ll give you the good and the bad. He doesn’t eat up innings as he hasn’t been able to go 7 innings all season. He doesn’t have great swing and miss ability, and he has a high HR/9 rate at 1.57. He does keep the walks down with a BB/9 rate of 2.05. His ERA is high at 5.06, but his FIP is 4.81 so he has had some bad luck with defense, but nonetheless he gives up a lot of runs, and their defense could be tired from traveling on the road.
Both teams lineups have been hitting well lately averaging over 8 hits per game in their last 4. My feeling with the Yankees is that they are playing for mediocrity right now, while Cleveland is playing for a pennant. Yankees will be sellers and these guys are probably just counting the days until they get back home to All-Star break, so I don’t see the motivation for them, especially after having to be stuck in Cleveland for the next 4 days. Cleveland wants to close out strong and prove to the league that they are one of the best teams in the MLB.
The money line hasn’t made too much of a movement to where I’d suspect something was fishy with the line dropping as some could be thinking Cleveland will regress a tad after going 16-3 in their last 19. However, with Bauer on over a weeks rest facing an unmotivated Yankees team playing their 7th game on the road, I like Cleveland to close off their last series before All-Star break with some passion, and grind out a victory today behind their awesome pitching staff. Cleveland has gone 7-2 in their last 9 against the Yankees.
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