Who wins AL Divisional Series: New York Yankees or Cleveland Indians? | The Tylt
With the AL Wild Card settled, MLB fans can toast to the beginning of playoff baseball. Next on the docket is the AL Divisional Series, one of which pits the New York Yankees against the Cleveland Indians. The New York Yankees are riding a wave of momentum after winning the wild card game behind a strong bullpen and Aaron Judge. The Cleveland Indians have one of the best overall pitching staffs in MLB. Who will advance? ⚾
Who wins AL Divisional Series: New York Yankees or Cleveland Indians?
The New York Yankees fought back from a 3-0 deficit at the top of the first inning with a four-run explosion in the bottom of the opening frame. The bullpen took over from there, suffocating the Twins' offense to secure their spot in the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. It's that strong bullpen that will be the Yankees saving grace this series. Here are the details from Sports Illustrated:
Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, manager Joe Girardi has a veritable clown car of effective relievers who can miss bats. The four besides Chapman are among the 10 relievers who whiffed at least 37% of batters faced, and all have ERAs below 3.00. Chapman’s strong September (12 IP, 17 K, 5 baserunners) suggests he’s past the shoulder and hamstring injuries that cut into his effectiveness earlier in the year. The group will shorten games to the point that it won't be a surprise if any starter is pulled before five innings, even with a lead.
The Yankees also showed an ability to get timely hitting from their lineup. That grit will make them a tough out for Cleveland. Welcome back to playoff prominence, New York.
The New York Yankees have a little momentum heading into the ALDS, but they won't take three games from a talented Cleveland Indians team who want to avenge their World Series loss last year. New York may have a strong bullpen, but Cleveland has a strong overall pitching staff, including a better starting rotation than they had last October. Check out these numbers from Sports Illustrated:
Corey Kluber owns the league's lowest ERA (2.25), highest WAR (8.0) and second-highest strikeout rate (11.7 per nine). He's been even better since missing four weeks in May due to a lower back strain (1.62 ERA, 12.1 K/9), holding opposing batters to a .495 OPS in that span. Carlos Carrasco, who missed last year's postseason run due to a fractured metacarpal, ranks sixth in ERA (3.29), fifth in WAR (5.4) and strikeout rate (10.2 per nine) and fourth in FIP (3.10). Trevor Bauer’s been on a roll (2.57 ERA, 4.4 K/BB in his last 11 starts and one relief appearance).