Yankees vs. Indians ALDS Preview

Yankees vs. Indians ALDS Preview

Beyond statistics, a position-by-position analysis of the matchup suggests each team can claim an edge in several aspects of the game.

The photo is from 2007, when the then-22-year-old James supported the Yankees in their last postseason encounter against the Indians, who won the ALDS bout in four games. And it's not like the Indians are all pitch, no hit: Cleveland was third in the AL in runs (818), second in batting average (.263) and second in OPS (.788).

Not only would the win throw home-field advantage back to New York's side, it would send a resounding message that this Yankees team is up to the challenge of competing with and potentially beating a club that went 102-60 in the regular season - the best record in the American League. Indeed, Cleveland featured the best pitching staff in the entire game, allowing a major league-low 3.48 runs per contest.

With a rotation featuring Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and likely Cy Young victor Corey Kluber, the Indians don't have to be.

NL Wild Card: Colorado Rockies vs Arizona Diamond Backs, both didn't have much expectations coming into the season but both managed to surprise.

A year ago the Cubs were considered the betting favorites to win the title after finishing with the best record in baseball, and that's exactly what they did as they won their first championship since 1908.

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As a result, the Indians are brimming with confidence and should they eliminate the Yankees will face either the AL East champion Boston Red Sox or a Houston Astros team that won the AL West by a 21-game margin. "What's going to matter is who plays the best".

"He's good for Major League Baseball". "It's one day at a time". In just his second full season, Lindor is on the verge of superstardom. The addition of Encarnacion gave the Indians' lineup more pop and a bona fide run producer. With Brantley slowed by an ankle injury, Bruce was acquired in August and brought more power and a veteran presence on and off the field. Matt Holliday is listed as the designated hitter on the ALDS roster. Jaime Garcia was poor for three different teams this year. Five of the previous 10 wild-card games featured one team getting shutout.

- Setup Scenario. A four-time All-Star, Betances struggled with his mechanics and control down the stretch, leading Girardi to have a quick hook in the late innings. As great as CC Sabathia has been this year, he's made it past the sixth inning just once in his past 15 starts. Still, everything hit toward him will leave Cleveland fans holding their breath.

- Big Weapon. The 6-foot-7 Miller was magnificent in last year's postseason, striking out 30 over 19 1/3 innings and winning ALCS MVP award.

In the video below, players of New York Yankees are seen spraying themselves down with bug spray to avoid further distraction and aggravation caused by the midges.

New York: Well, we know the Yanks can hit. All of the history regarding their stunningly long Championship draught added to a singularly dominant regular season put the focus on their not just potential, but suddenly highly anticipated, post season success. Yeah, that's about all I've got here.