Sometimes the books just post a bad number. That is what happened last night when the Minnesota Twins were road underdogs against the Cleveland Indians. It just didn’t make any sense to me that Jose Berrios would be an underdog to one of the lightest hitting teams in all of baseball. And on the flipside, to see Trevor Bauer, who had been awful as of late, being a favorite against the best hitting team in the majors, just didn’t add up. I scratched my head, wondered what I was missing, and fired on the Twins.
Turns out I wasn’t missing anything. Berrios continued his great start to the season as all he did was go out and throw a two-hitter, allowing just one earned run in six innings of work. He is very quietly making a case for his first All-Star team this season. Berrios is now just one win behind Justin Verlander and Domingo German for the most wins in the American League, and his 3.14 ERA is quite impressive.
And despite Bauer getting hit early and often, for some reason, the Indians decided to leave Bauer in the game for a whopping eight innings. He threw 119 mostly ineffective pitches and gave up five earned runs and was charged with the loss.
In reality, Bauer wasn’t all that bad. He did allow only five hits, but three of those were home runs to leadoff man Max Kepler. The Twins made us sweat just a little bit, as after building an early 5-1 lead the Indians battled back and cut the lead to just one run before running out of innings to complete the comeback. We will chalk this one up as yet another underdog winner and head out searching for more value today. For today’s pick, I will stay right here in Cleveland where the Indians host the Yankees.
The New York Yankees are in Cleveland Friday for game one of a weekend three-game series with Indians. The Yankees are excited to welcome Didi Gregorius back to the field as the shortstop will be making his season debut tonight after missing the entire start to the season with an injury. The Yankees have been decimated with injuries all year long, and they are happy that Didi will be back on the roster tonight.
For the Indians, they finally showed some signs of life as they took two out of three games in their last series against the first-place Minnesota Twins. But, even with the series win, the Indians are just 31-31 on the season and ten and a half games out of first place. The Indians will need to get things turned around quickly if they want any shot at all of a division title.
Starting tonight for the Yankees is Domingo German (9-1 3.66 ERA), and for the Indians, it is Zach Plesac (0-1 1.46 ERA). The game total over-under is set at nines runs. The Yankees are -120 road favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Zach Plesac has been a pleasant surprise for the Indians in his first two big league starts. The rookie has a 1.46 ERA and has been much better than most people anticipated. He made his major league debut at Fenway Park and held the powerful Boston Red Sox to just one earned run in five and a third innings.
He followed up that stellar debut by throwing seven innings against the Chicago White Sox and gave up just one run. While he has yet to record his first ever big-league win, this kid has certainly made a great first impression in Cleveland. But you have to wonder what he will do tonight against this very hard-hitting Yankees lineup.
Domingo German leads the American League in wins with nine, and despite being a bit shaky in his last two starts, is enjoying a great season. The Yankees have won ten of German’s twelve starts this year, and he is emerging as the ace of this staff with Luis Severino on the IL. German hasn’t been getting deep into games, but that is ok as this New York bullpen is elite, and they have done a great job holding leads for him.
It’s hard not to be impressed with what Zach Plesac has done in his first two starts. But to see this number as a tight one is laughable. The Yankees are the much better team. German has been winning games all seasons long, and the Yankees should be significant favorites in this one. Everyone always loves the next big thing, and I am guessing that is why this number is a tight one. The public always has the fear of missing out, and that has skewed this line.
But there is a big difference between shutting down the Chicago White Sox and shutting down the New York Yankees. I think Plesac gets a rude awaking that pitching in the show isn’t nearly as easy as it has seemed for him in his first ever week in the rotation. And when you look at German, yeah, he has been a bit shaky as of late, but this Cleveland team can’t hit a lick, so if he was ever going to look good again it would be tonight against this downright bad Indians lineup.
So, I will lay just a little bit of wood and back the New York Yankees tonight. If this were Pleasac’s debut, I could see this line being -180 or more. The fact that he has looked good in two starts shouldn’t have moved this number as much as it has. Give me the New York Yankees at -120 tonight in game one from Cleveland!