The AL Wild Card winning New York Yankees take on the AL Central champion Cleveland Indians this Thursday night in Cleveland to open up the series. The Indians won the Central behind two 19-win starters, aces C.C. Sabathia and Fauston Carmona, and five sluggers with more than 20 home runs on the season. Internet sportsbook Bodog has the New York Yankees as the -175 odds favorites in the best of five series against the Cleveland Indians.
The Yankees started slow, but steadily climbed the standings with one of the most potent lineups in baseball. No pitcher in baseball is going to be thrilled about facing the likes of A-Rod, Jeter, and Posada among others. The pitching staff looked like a problem early on, but Chien-Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte have helped pull the thing together. Clemens and Rivera also bring New York tons of postseason experience on the hill.
Victor Martinez and Grady Sizemore will be two difference makers for the Tribe this series. Martinez is one of the game’s best RBI men from the catcher position and Sizemore is one of baseball’s best all-around players. Of course, Sabathia and Carmona are the best one-two, lefty-righty, punch in the league. If the Yankees are going to pull off the upset here, A-Rod is going to have to get over his postseason slump. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are among the most clutch playoff performers in league history and this series should be no different.
Baseball journey-man Kenny Lofton realizes that this could be his last chance for a ring. He just might be the guy that puts this Indians team over the hump.
The Yankee’s unlikely hero could be Mike Mussina. He goes under the radar as far as old time Yankee starters as he is just 38 and Clemens is 45, but Mussina, who is likely to get the ball in game 4 could help swing the series in New York’s favor. Sabathia is the best pitcher period in this series, and he gives Cleveland an advantage if the series goes 5 games as he will get two starts. Also, the Yanks lack pitching depth and Cleveland’s dynamic lineup should put some runs on the board.
The Yanks were the best team in the league in the second half of the season. These guys are playoff tested and know what it takes to win playoff games. The Yanks did beat the Indians in all six regular season meetings. This series should be a dandy. We have the new kids on the block against the war-torn vets.
Bodog has posted MLB betting odds on the American League Playoff Series between the New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians Best of Five:
New York Yankees: -175
Cleveland Indians: +155