The New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians will meet on Tuesday night for Game 1 of the Wild Card Series of the 2020 MLB Postseason.
This Yankees vs. Indians betting preview will feature odds, picks, and predictions for this Game 1 tone-setting series opener.
The weirdest season in Major League Baseball history is coming to a close and the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians are ready to kick off their 2020 World Series runs. Two of the most dominant pitchers in the game will match up in game one of a best of three series.
Let’s jump into it.
Yankees vs. Indians Odds
Here are the current Yankees vs. Indians odds for Game 1 from DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Yankees and Indians are both -105 on the moneyline for this one. With two Cy Young caliber pitchers going head to head, it’s no surprise that oddsmakers see this game as a toss-up. The total runs are set to 6.5.
Yankees vs. Indians Betting Preview
With such a short series, winning Game 1 is pivotal to put your team in the driver’s seat.
Pitching duel for the ages
AL Cy Young favorite Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole will match up in Game 1 and we expect this to be a pitchers’ duel. Bieber and Cole are two of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Unfortunately for the Yankees, that incredible matchup on the mound puts them at an early disadvantage.
While Cole has been very good in 2020, Bieber has been incredible. Cole has yet to find the groove he hit in Houston which netted him the largest contract for a pitcher in Major League history. He’s been prone to the home run ball, and while Cleveland’s offense is clearly inferior to the Yankees, they do have mashers at the top of the order. Jose Ramirez is a potential MVP. Francisco Lindor is one of the best shortstops in the game. Carlos Santana has major home run potential.
Any one of those three could give Bieber the lead he needs with one swing of the bat.
On the other side, the Yankees offense has been maddeningly inconsistent this season. Sometimes it feels like they could score 100 runs in one game. Other times it feels like I could lace up and throw a shutout. Bieber’s presence on the mound suggests that the low-powered offense may be the one that shows up. Further, Bieber’s proficiency for punching batters out and limiting home runs are the perfect combination to silence the Yankees offense.
For baseball fans, this could be a pitching matchup for the ages. For Yankees fans, this could be the first step towards an early exit from postseason baseball.
Cleveland is hot and the Yankees are not
Coming into this series, the Indians are 8-2 over their last 10 games. The Yankees, on the other hand, are 4-6 over their last 10. Perhaps the start of the playoffs will snap the Yankees back into form. Perhaps the Indians will stay hot and take advantage of a struggling team.
Regardless, it can’t be denied that the Indians are playing their best brand of baseball heading into the postseason. A hot team with the Cy Young favorite on the mound in their home ballpark is another huge advantage for Cleveland.
Yankees offensive potential
The Yankees do have one distinct advantage. Their offense is far better than Cleveland’s. And one thing that the Yankee hitters do as well as anybody in the league is work counts off of tough pitchers. Their gameplan should be to work Bieber into a high pitch count early and get to the middle relievers before James Karinchak and Brad Hand become options. If they can do that, they’ll have their window to take advantage of their offensive prowess.
And even if they don’t, the Yankees still have a good chance to run into a homer off Bieber. Nearly everybody on the Yankees roster has excessive big fly potential. Should Bieber make a mistake with runners on, the Yankees could easily throw some runs on the board with one swing.
Yankees vs. Indians Prediction
The most likely scenario in this game is a low-scoring pitchers’ duel. That gives the Indians a distinct advantage with the best pitcher of 2020 toeing the slab for them. But the Yankees have an ace of their own and a far superior offense. This game could come down to which team hits a home run with runners on base.
Yankees vs. Indians Pick
Cleveland at +1.5 is the smart pick here. They have a slight edge in the starting pitcher matchup and even if they lose, it’s likely the Yankees won’t be able to run up the score on Bieber. The under on 6.5 runs is also a great pick given the caliber of the starters and the strength of each team’s high leverage relievers.