Indians @ Yankees Series Preview

Let’s just try to forget about that last series and move on.  Hopefully, the Yankees can leave everything they did in those last three games in the last three games.  The Cleveland Indians now come into town and with a sunny day, there is definitely hope in the air.  Let’s just hope that by tonight, it won’t be gone.

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Indians are not the team you heard about over the first two months of the season.  Sure, they had the best record in the American League for a while and were beating very good teams, but they have come back down to earth recently losing seven of their last ten and only holding a one game lead over the Tigers.  So the Yankees are catching them at the right time.

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

As a whole, the Tribe has not been an offensive machine as they are in the middle of the pack in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, wOBA, and homers in the American League, they strike out more than every other team in the league except two, but they have been getting some BABIP luck at .296, good for fourth in the AL.  Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley have broken out and lead the bunch, both hitting above .295 with OBP’s above .350.  Here’s a projected lineup:

  1. Michael Brantley, LF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Grady Sizemore, CF
  4. Carlos Santana, 1B
  5. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  6. Matt LaPorta, DH
  7. Cord Phelps, 2B
  8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  9. Lou Marson, C

Pitching-wise, the Indians have been very good pitching to a 3.89 ERA and a 3.82 FIP and walking on 2.79 per nine innings.  They don’t really strike out a lot batters, but they get the job done.  The one problem with them is they have collectively thrown the least amount of innings of any American League starting rotation.  Here are the projected pitching match-ups:

Friday

Fausto Carmona (3-7, 5.33 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (4-4, 4.50 ERA)

Saturday

Mitch Talbot (2-2, 4.18 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.39 ERA)

Sunday

Josh Tomlin (7-3, 3.71 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (4-5, 3.86 ERA)

Monday

Carlos Carrasco (5-3, 4.52 ERA) vs. AJ Burnett (6-4, 4.37 ERA)

As far as the bullpen, it has been pretty good.  Chris Perez has been very good as the closer and Tony Sipp, Rafael Perez, and Vinnie Pestano have also been very good so keep a look out for them.

(Bob Levey/Icon SMI)

There are two things the Yankees need to do to do well in this series.  First of all, they need to pitch better.  I know that sounds like a dumb thing to say, but their starters need to have better command and eat up more innings with the very weak bullpen they are now sporting.  Also, they need to hit with runners in scoring position.  In the first two games of the Red Sox series, they had two instances with the bases loaded that I can think of, and both times, they didn’t get anything out of it.  They need to make more of their chances.

This will be a wrap-around series as you saw from the pitching match-ups going from Friday to Monday, the first of the season.  The first will start tonight a little after seven.  Try to enjoy the weekend please.

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