Free Picks: New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians

Yankees vs Indians Week 4
New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians, MLB, Progressive Field

The New York Yankees (7-11) face the Cleveland Indians (8-9) for the second of four games on Friday. Despite eking out a late comeback on Thursday, the Yankees still find themselves near the bottom of the American League — unfamiliar territory for a squad of their stature. Fans are frustrated with defensive miscues, inconsistent hitting through a consistently well paid lineup, and an egregious lack of rotation depth. Will New York be able to start a turnaround, or is there more futility on the horizon?

Yankees have lots of work to do, but Thursday was a start

It hasn’t been a great time to be a New York Yankees fan, which is a rather rare thing to say. After all, we’re talking about the winningest franchise in MLB history (27 titles), and one that was predicted by most to win the AL East this season. That is still well within grasp, although the Yankees’ start has been downright disastrous — even after claiming victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.

Based on reputation more than anything else, the Yankees are steady -145 money line favorites (Betway) against the host Indians among Friday’s MLB picks. New York has lost six of eight, but perhaps they’re headed in the right direction after rattling Cleveland’s bullpen in a 6-3 win.

New York’s offense — which had scored just 21 runs in its previous eight games, for an average of 2.6 runs per game — came alive with 11 hits and nine walks. They trailed 3-0 after the first inning but chipped away, scoring the eventual winning run on a two-out single in the seventh. It was a nice night for the Yankees, but keep in mind that they’ve scored five-plus runs just twice in their past 10 games. We haven’t seen them produce consistently yet.

On the other side, though, Cleveland is going through its own struggles. The Indians have now lost four of five, and they’ve scored five or fewer runs in nine of their past 10. A bullpen collapse like the one they suffered Thursday is a potential added problem. Cleveland has had one of baseball’s best bullpens (3.00 ERA), but they’ve showing an ability to make mistakes now, too.

Given the Yankees’ inability to string together wins and find much traction on offense, we don’t care for them as the -145 favorites. Then again, Cleveland has struggled so much lately too, making their +125 appear too light on value for our liking

Instead, in this BetPicks prediction we’ll steer clear of the money line and focused on run production (or lack thereof). Recent trends show both of these teams struggling to plate runs, and we like that to continue on Friday to the extent that they’ll hit the under on the 8.5 run total (-115 at Betway) — especially if both bullpens can keep things locked down this time.

Stats

  • New York is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in five of the Yankees’ past nine games
  • Cleveland is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in five of the Indians’ past seven games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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