The Yankees edged the Cleveland Indians out yesterday in the 11th inning, winning the contest by a score of 7-6. The rest of the AL Central is going to need all of the help they can get to catch up to the Indians, who are currently up in the division by 3 games. The Tigers have down their best to stymie the turbulence in the first-half to be within striking distance of 1st place. The White Sox and Royals are both back by 3.5 games. This division is up for grabs, it’s tough to say who is going to come out of this division. I have a suspicion that the Indians are going to ultimately regress, falling backwards opening up the door for the Tigers or Royals. Nevertheless, the Indians should be taken serious after their impressive start. The Yanks will look to capture a 3-1 series lead with a win today behind Masahiro Tanaka.
The Yankees pulled to 43-44 following the win yesterday. And you know what, if you were to ask me where they would be around the mid-way point of the season, I’d say the Yankees would be a .500 baseball team. I think they’re right where people thought they’d be. I expect them to continue to trade wins and losses in the second-half, treading water and not going very far. This should be a good pitching matchup in any event, with Tanaka and Carrasco competing against one another. Carrasco is one of those pitchers who might creep up into the Cy Young discussion if he can keep pitching well. Lately, he has been flawless and a big reason why the Indians are in such a good position in the AL Central. Get the MLB pick for Sunday, on the last weekend before the All-Star Break.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians
Masahiro Tanaka (6-2, 3.12 ERA) vs. Carlos Carrasco (5-2, 2.47 ERA)
A tough loss yesterday, coming a run short from cashing our ticket on Saturday in the Mariners and Royals matchup. It brings our mark on the season to 55-39-4, a solid record which we want to improve on. Carrasco hasn’t needed to improve on much lately, posting a marvelous ERA of 2.47, along with a 0.81 ERA and 0.71 ERA in his last three starts. When you start talking about numbers below 1.00 for a pitcher, we know the guy is pitching the hell out of the ball. Between these two pitchers, they are 5-0 in their last six starts. Over Cassasco’s last three outings, he has given up just 2 runs and 10 hits. He’s been pitching like one of the best in baseball today.
One thing is for certain about Tanaka, he wouldn’t mind never pitching at Yankee Stadium. It isn’t the friendliest ballpark to pitchers, and Tanaka’s numbers away from home lead some evidence to that claim. Tanaka at Yankee Stadium owns an ERA of 5.05, but on the road he has a 1.14 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, virtually unhittable. In his last four starts away, Tanaka has given up only 2 runs. This looks something like a 3-2 or 4-2 ball game. It has the makings for a solid play on the UNDER.
PICK: UNDER 7.5 RUNS (-110)