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Sports Yankees vs. Indians: American League Wild Card series preview, schedule, predictions

15:30  29 september  2020
15:30  29 september  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Last season, the Yankees saw a long-standing streak broken: It was the first decade they hadn’t reached the World Series . With Game 1 kicking off the Wild Card Round on Tuesday at 7 p.m., let’s break down the series and give our prediction of how this one will end heading into the ALDS.

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In this strange campaign, it's only fitting that the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians meet in the best-of-three American League Wild Card Series given the ups and downs that each team endured over 60 games.

The Yankees started the year hot, winning 16 of 22, but lost 15 of their next 20. They followed that stretch with a 10-game winning streak – before finishing the season with just two wins out of their last eight.

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The NL Wild Card Series begins Wednesday. Here’s a brief look at the scheduling and times for each series . Click here for complete MLB Yankees take on Indians in postseason and will have to contend with midges again. Indians ' Shane Bieber captures American League pitching Triple

The Yankees met and exceeded those lofty predictions . No, this is a series . We won the division so we don't have to play the wild card win or go home game. Regardless of our W/L vs this team, they are scary. They could easily win any game and who knows what's going to happen in the post season.

Meanwhile, the Indians chose to trade Mike Clevinger and sideline Zach Plesac for nearly a month after the pair broke COVID-19 protocols, all while ace Shane Bieber put together a season that will likely result in a unanimous Cy Young Award.

a baseball player standing on top of a field: Luke Voit and Aaron Judge help power the Yankees' lineup. © Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Luke Voit and Aaron Judge help power the Yankees' lineup.

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Ultimately each team finished runner-up in their division – but fancy themselves better than their respective seeds may indicate heading into the series at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Schedule

Tuesday, Game 1: Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 7-3, 2.84 ERA) at Indians (Shane Bieber, 8-1, 1.63 ERA) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Wednesday, Game 2: Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 3-3, 3.56 ERA) at Indians (Carlos Carrasco, 3-4, 2.91 ERA) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Thursday, Game 3 (if necessary): Yankees (TBD) at Indians (Zach Plesac, 4-2, 2.28 ERA) – time TBD

Three things to watch

Cleveland's 1-2-3 punch: The Indians will throw Bieber, Carrasco and Plesac in the three-game set, a trifecta that had a combined 2.24 ERA in 200 ⅔ innings in the regular season. Carrasco is the only one of the bunch with postseason experience.

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On the American League side of things, the New York Yankees will face the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, while the Houston Astros will have home-field advantage HIT TIMES: 0:52 - Wild Card Game predictions 4:50 - National League Division Series predictions 8:38 - American League Division

The 2017 American League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2017 postseason that was played between the American League 's (AL) two wild card teams

Yankees' success vs. righties: New York led the AL with an .811 OPS against right-handed pitching, maybe the only bright spot in having to go up against Cleveland's all-righty big three. First baseman Luke Voit, who led the majors with 22 homers, hit .291 against right-handers compared to .213 against lefties.

Indians' offensive struggles: Cleveland ranked 24th in baseball in runs and its outfielders in particular had a rough season, last in the AL with a .571 OPS. Timely hitting was also an issue: their .240 average with runners in scoring position was 26th in the majors. Facing Cole in Game 1, the Indians are going to have a tough time getting into a rhythm at the plate

Prediction

Yankees in 3

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Yankees vs. Indians: American League Wild Card series preview, schedule, predictions


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