Indians vs. Yankees Odds, Preview, Prediction: Can Corey Kluber Get Right vs. Cleveland? (Friday, September 17)

Indians vs. Yankees Odds, Preview, Prediction: Can Corey Kluber Get Right vs. Cleveland? (Friday, September 17) article feature image

Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Corey Kluber

  • The Yankees are significant favorites against the Indians on Friday night in the Bronx.
  • Corey Kluber takes the mound for New York and will be opposed by Cleveland's Eli Morgan.
  • Read below for a full preview, including a betting prediction.

Indians vs. Yankees Odds

Indians Odds+170
Yankees Odds-207
Time7:05 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Cleveland Indians head to the Big Apple to take on Corey Kluber and the Yankees. He will face 25-year-old Eli Morgan in the opener of the series.

Both starters have been roughed up as of late. Morgan allowed eight runs in 4 1/3 innings his last outing, and Kluber has a 7.04 ERA in the month of September.

The total has opened at 10, but do both teams have the firepower with the bats to actually hit that number?

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Cleveland's Offense Has Been Abysmal

The Tribe somehow put up 12 runs on the Twins on Wednesday night. This should take up their allotment of runs for the month. Seriously, they have been no-hit three times this season already. They probably have another in there somewhere, since the last one only happened five days ago.

Digressing from that, Cleveland has struggled all year. There is a reason for those no-hitters. Only four hitters have better than a 100 wRC+ against right-handers in the month of September. That number extends to five hitters when including August’s stats, but the bottom of the lineup plummets significantly in talent outside of Franmil Reyes and José Ramírez. Since August 1, they have the 23rdhighest wRC+ in the league and the 22nd-highest OBP. These numbers are inflated by including the big dogs in the order, but if any of them are removed, their replacements are abysmal.

Morgan has his hands full with a Yankee order full of big, left-handed boppers. The Yankees have not necessarily seen too many righties who throw as slowly as Morgan, but on four-seamers between 90 and 92 mph (Morgan’s velocity), New York has an insane .510 xwOBA. Best of luck for Morgan to straighten out in this one.

If the Indians keep the game within reach, going into the later innings, their bullpen has overachieved since August 1. They have a 3.97 combined ERA but 4.50 xFIP. Emmanuel Clase props up the rest of the bullpen. Without him, the rest of the bullpen accounts for -1.1 fWAR in that same time period. They will need more than Clase because Morgan will go four innings at most.

Appealing Matchup For Yankees' Offense

Kluber is their weakest link in this matchup. He has not gone more than five innings since his return from injury. Sure, some of this is an intentionally slow ramp-up, but he simply hasn't been effective. Six earned runs in 7 2/3 is underwhelming from a guy the Yankees counted on for a lot more than that at the start of the season.

The massive advantage in this one comes from a difference in lineups. The Yankees have nine hitters better than 100 wRC+ in September. They don’t have a hole in the lineup and with a young, soft-tossing Morgan on the bump, they should be ready to feast.

This team is also incredibly patient, but Morgan’s one strength is not allowing free passes. There may not be many walks for the Yankees, but. Morgan’s 12.5% barrel percentage on the season shows they'll get plenty of pitches on which to feast.

Since the beginning of August the Bronx Bombers have a 3.31 collective bullpen ERA and 3.95 xFIP. This is indicative of a bit of luck, but everyone knows the Yankees' bullpen is one of the strongest in the league. Aroldis Chapman seems to have stabilized as well with his 2.45 ERA and 18.41 K/9 in September. Jonathan Loáisiga is still out, but the rest of the bullpen should be able to carry the workload after Kluber most likely comes out early.

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Indians-Yankees Pick

The Yankees have the advantage against the Indians. Kluber has been absolutely brutal since returning, but with Cleveland’s poor hitting, this might finally be the “get-right” position Kluber needs.

Take the Bombers' spread at -1.5 (-105) and play to -1.5 (-140).

Pick: New York Yankees -1.5 (-105), play to -1.5 (-140)

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