Two first-place teams in the American League start a three-game series on our Nation’s Birthday when the Yankees visit Progressive Field to take on the Indians. Both teams lost on Sunday to prevent them from sweeping their weekend opponents, as the Indians fell to the Reds, and the Yankees blew a ninth-inning lead and lost on a Jason Bay walk-off single to the Mets to snap their seven-game win streak.
The Yankees have dominated this series of late, taking three of four from the Tribe in New York in June and winning 13 of their past 17 meetings at Progressive Field. The Bombers are one of the hottest teams in the game right now and always enjoy beating up on the Indians, especially in Cleveland where they haven’t lost a series since August of 2005. Expect NEW YORK to win the series, throwing its two top pitchers in CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Baseball odds.
The FoxSheets provide a pair of team trends siding with the Yankees.
NY YANKEES are 23-9 (71.9%, +12.2 Units) against the money line vs teams who strand 6.9 or less runners on base per game this season. The average score was NY YANKEES 6.2, OPPONENT 3.3 – (Rating = 1*).
JOE GIRARDI is 82-51 (61.7%, +23.1 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams allowing 4.2 or less runs/game on the season as the manager of NY YANKEES. The average score was NY YANKEES 5.0, OPPONENT 4.2 – (Rating = 1*).
Derek Jeter is due to return on Monday as he tries to complete his quest for 3,000 hits, needing just six more to reach the mark. Eduardo Nunez did an excellent job filling in for Jeter, especially this past weekend against the Mets, going 7-for-8 in the first two games before missing Sunday’s loss with a tight hamstring. Jeter loves hitting at Progressive Field, recording a .370 career BA there, while hitting safely in 23 of his past 27 visits to Cleveland.
Pitching Probables for Monday, July 4 – 6:35 ET Monday line: New York -125, Cleveland +115, Total: 8.5
NYY: 8-9 (-4.55 Units) when A.J. Burnett starts
CLE: 10-6 (+4.00 Units) when Josh Tomlin starts
Burnett (8-6, 4.05 ERA) – Burnett has recovered nicely from his awful 2010 season in which he allowed batters to hit .285 and posted a career-high 5.26 ERA, holding batters to a .226 BA and has allowed three ER or fewer in 12 of his 17 starts this season. Burnett defeated the Brewers his last time out, allowing seven hits and two runs over seven innings. Despite all of Burnett’s problems in 2010, one team he didn’t struggle against was Cleveland, going 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA in his two starts against. Burnett pitched well again in his only appearance this season against the Tribe, but lost 1-0 to Carlos Carrasco after allowing just one run and five hits in 7.2 innings and tying a season-high with eight strikeouts. He has, however, struggled at Progressive Field in his career, going 1-4 with a 7.12 ERA in his five starts, but did win his last outing there in 2010, allowing no runs and seven hits in 6.1 innings.
Tomlin (9-4, 3.86 ERA) – Tomlin received a no-decision in his last start, going seven innings and allowing just two runs and five hits at Arizona in a game the Indians lost, after winning his previous two starts against the Pirates and Rockies. Tomlin has been impressive at home this season, as he’s 6-1 with a 3.35 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in eight starts. After defeating the Yankees in his only start against them in 2010, allowing just three hits and one run over seven innings, Tomlin was roughed up in his only appearance against them this season, allowing 12 hits and six runs in five innings on June 12. Baseball spreads.
Pitching Probables for Tuesday, July 5 – 7:05 ET Tuesday line: TBD
NYY: 13-5 (+5.20 Units) when CC Sabathia starts
CLE: 9-6 (+4.52 Units) when Carlos Carrasco starts
Sabathia (10-4, 3.25 ERA) – The Yankees ace is 8-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his past nine starts. Sabathia was dominant in winning his past two starts, allowing one run and 13 hits over 15.2 IP, while striking out 22 (including a season-high 13 in his last start). This is Sabathia’s fifth start against his former team. He is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his four previous starts.
Carrasco (8-4, 3.54 ERA) – Carrasco has been excellent in his past nine starts, going 7-2 with a 2.55 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. He has been even better in his past five starts, holding opponents to just four earned runs in 36.2 IP, going 4-1 while posting a 0.74 WHIP. Carrasco has only faced the Yankees once, and is the only Indians pitcher to defeat the Yankees this season, throwing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 win on June 13.
Pitching Probables for Wednesday, July 6 – 7:05 ET Wednesday line: TBD
NYY: 1-2 (-1.60 Units) when Phil Hughes starts
CLE: 9-8 (+0.50 Units) when Justin Masterson starts
Hughes (0-1, 13.94 ERA) – Hughes makes his return to the Yankees after making only three starts earlier this season. Hughes looks to have recovered from his lack of velocity and “tired shoulder” that plagued him in allowing 19 hits and 16 ER in just 10.1 IP this season. Reports had him hitting 94 mph on the radar gun while striking out eight in his last rehab appearance at Double-A Trenton on Wednesday.
Masterson (6-6, 2.85 ERA) – After starting the season with five straight wins, Masterson finally earned his sixth win of the season in his last outing, ending a skid of 11 straight starts without a victory. Masterson defeated the Reds his last time out on Friday, allowing just four hits and one run in eight innings. Baseball lines.
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