CLEVELAND INDIANS (73-56)
at NEW YORK YANKEES (70-59)
First pitch: Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Cleveland -105, New York -105, Total: 7.5
The Yankees will be hoping to earn a big home victory over the Indians on Monday night.
The Indians have a 6.5-game lead on the Twins in the AL Central and it’s really just not likely that they’ll lose their spot atop the division between now and the end of the season. The Yankees, however, still have a ton left to play for. New York is only 2.5 games behind Boston in the AL East, and the Yankees certainly are doing everything they can in order to win the division. They’re also sitting atop the wild card standings right now, so their playoff chances are certainly looking pretty good at the moment. This game, however, is going to be a tough one for both of these teams. That is because the matchup on the mound will feature a pair of aces, as RHP Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.65 ERA, 208 K) will be on the mound for the Indians and RHP Luis Severino (11-5, 3.10 ERA, 183 K) will be out there for the Yankees. One trend that stands out when looking at this game is the fact that Cleveland is 78-45 against the money line versus AL teams allowing 4.4 or less runs per game on the year over the past two seasons.
The Indians are coming off of a 12-0 victory over the Royals on Sunday, so they’ll be feeling good when they get out there on Monday. Corey Kluber will be on the mound for Cleveland in this game and the righty has been dealing as of late. Kluber has allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his past 10 starts for the Indians, and he has struck out 10 or more batters in seven of the past 10 as well. If he can continue to miss bats like that then the Yankees will be in trouble in this one, as they are a team that is full of all-or-nothing hitters. On offense, SS Francisco Lindor could be a guy to keep an eye on in this game. Lindor is 3-for-8 with a homer against Severino in his career. Severino has definitely improved since the last time they met, but Lindor will still be feeling confident when he gets to the plate. The same can also be said for 1B Carlos Santana, who homered against the Royals on Sunday and has now homered in each of the past two games for Cleveland.
Luis Severino has been remarkable for the Yankees this season, as he has allowed one or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 25 starts on the year. Severino tends to either completely shut the opponent down or turn in an absolutely horrible outing, and there is really no in-between. New York will be hoping that the good Sevy shows up in this one, but he has definitely enjoyed pitching on the road more than pitching at Yankee Stadium. He is just 5-4 with a 4.14 ERA at home this season, which is something that the team desperately wants him to change. On offense, the Yankees will be looking for somebody to step it up against Kluber here. One guy that just might be able to do it is C Gary Sanchez, who is 2-for-6 with a double, a homer, and two RBI against the righty in his career. Sanchez also owes it to his team to produce in this one, as he will be serving a four-game suspension very shortly.