The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians are set to battle in a best-of-three Wild Card Series to determine which one advances to the next round of the MLB playoffs. The first game is tonight, with Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole facing each other to see which team comes out on front.
Former New York Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira, who played eight seasons with the Bombers in the last decade, is picking the Cleveland Indians to win the series, which will be played at Progressive Field since the tribe finished with a better record in the regular season.
It is an odd development since Teixeira won his only World Series ring with the Yankees back in 2009, but it is understandable, as he objectively analyzed the series and picked the team he thinks will come out on top when all is said and done.
The Yankees are “inconsistent”
The current ESPN analyst explained his reasoning on â€œGet Up!â€ when asked by host Mike Greenberg.
â€œMy Yankees friends arenâ€™t going to like this. Iâ€™m going to go with the Indians. And the reason is, is the Indians’ right-handed pitching. It starts with Shane Bieber, who is the best pitcher on the planet right now. And Games 2 and 3, itâ€™s going to be (Carlos) Carrasco and Zach Plesac. The Yankees have been so inconsistent this year. They might score 10 runs in a game but get shut out the next two. And when you face these Indians right-handed starters, and then finish off with Brad Hand in the ninth inning, this Indians pitching staff could dominate the Yankees pitching. And beyond Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ starters are very suspect, so I like the Indians in this series,â€ he said.
The Indians do have one of the strongest pitching units in the league, and there is no doubt about that. But their offense is suspect, at best, failing to crack the 90 wRC+ threshold as a team.
Only time will tell who is the winner and who goes home, but the Yankees – Indians matchup is certainly one of the closest of the MLB postseason.