The Tribe, Manny, and Larry's Laboratory

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Progressive Field in Cleveland

The Showdown In Cleveland

Tonight the Yankees (60-31) and Indians (50-41) will square off for the second time since the Bronx Bombers shocked the world last October, sending the Tribe off to an early winter vacation. A four-game series that will lead the Yanks into the All-Star break gets underway at Progressive Field with a duel of aces.
For what it’s worth, Progressive has been described as more friendly to left-handed power hitters due to the shorter fences in center and right field (9′ feet high as opposed to 19′ high in left).

Kluber vs Severino

With a -115 money line at this writing, late dineros are coming in on the pinstripes hot and heavy. The wise guys have New York as the favorite, with a stingy over/under at 7. While the over has prevailed in 15 of the last 20 Yankees road games, the head to head of respective aces Corey Kluber and Luis Severino has something to do with that. Also, New York is 5-0 straight up in their last 5 matchups with Cleveland.

Key Matchups

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Kluber is a strikeout machine and no Yankee on the active roster is hitting higher than .250 against him, in fact most are under .200. This is clearly a case of New York matching zeros with him and getting into the Tribe bullpen.
The power righty has a history of success against New York with a 5-1 record over 7 starts, and a 1.80 ERA including 1 complete game victory. Kluber registered 58 strikeouts in 50 innings against the Yankees.
In last season’s ALDS, Didi Gregorius homered twice off Kluber in the deciding Game 5. Brett Gardner also added 3 hits.
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On the flip side, Luis Severino has similar dominance over the Cleveland lineup, but Jose Ramirez has 2 home runs in 10 at-bats.
Severino won the pivotal Game 4 of the 2017 ALDS, allowing 3 earned runs over 7 innings while striking out 9.

The Manny Thing

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Honestly I’ve paid no attention to the Manny Machado trade rumors until now. Not even for a second. His chance of coming to the Yankees was zero, and the thought of what prospects we’d be giving up was not appetizing. Then breaks yesterday’s news (from some credible sources) that the Yanks are in play. Whaaaat? Is this another Stanton stealth job from Ca$hMunny? Now you have my attention.
I loves me some Manny and it does get you salivating about a lineup with him, but at the cost of losing Andujar, Frazier and possible Sheffield? No. Let’s wait out the free agent process and acquire Machado the old-fashioned way — with ca$h money! We need pitching to get the promised land this season, not another bat assuming we’ll be at full strength and our boys will actually hit the baseball when it really counts!

Speaking of Pitching

Rothschild for Mayor! If simply nudging Sonny Gray down the rubber a few clicks was the difference, that is pure genius. Gray was dominant yesterday in Baltimore, and we’ll need to see that performance duplicated over his coming starts, but man, what a relief. The Yankees need a potent Gray down the stretch, not scramble for another arm.
Remember this is for speculation only, not meant to be taken as gospel. And don’t forget to double-check your lineup(s) just prior to game time as the weather may create havoc for you. We exist under the manta that “You can’t predict baseball” but it’s fun trying. Good luck with your lineup and let’s go Yankees!


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