Series Preview: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians (8/3 - 8/6)

The Yankees are coming off a great few weeks, and have seemed to have finally shrugged off the woes that plagued them from mid-June up to the All-Star break and now visit the reigning AL champion Cleveland Indians for a four game series. This trip will be a crucial series as they are within a game of the rival Red Sox for the division title.

Game One- Thursday, August 3rd | First Pitch: 7:10 pm
Sonny Gray (6-5, 3.43 ERA) vs. Corey Kubler  (8-3, 2.90 ERA)

The Yankees debut their prized jewel of the trade deadline in Sonny Gray. The former Oakland Athletic last start was on July 25th against Toronto where he surrendered five hits and four unearned runs in six innings pitched in a 6-5 loss. He hopes to start his Yankee career with a bang against a Cleveland lineup that ranks fifth in team batting average.

Kluber is off to a great start this year, even receiving the award for AL pitcher of the month in June. The All-Star did miss most of the month of May but has not let that slowed him down. He owns an over 12 strikeout average per nine innings but is coming off a start against the White Sox where he let up four runs in six innings.
Photo Credit: Kathy Willens | AP

Game Two- Friday, August 4th | First Pitch: 7:10 pm
Jaime Garcia (5-7, 4.29 ERA) vs. Danny Salazar (4-5, 4.63 ERA)

Another debut for a new Yankee with Jaime Garcia. The recently acquired the lefty has won three out of his last four starts with a 4.05 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched. Garcia was originally slated to pitch game one but was switched with Gray to gain an extra day of rest.

The Bronx Bombers will have to face the right hander Salazar who sports a 4.63 ERA this year with a fastball-sinker-changeup trio that boasts upper 90mph velocity. The righty has been much better at home than away (3.82 ERA to a 5.30 ERA) which does not bode well for New York.

Game Three- Saturday, August 5th | First Pitch 7:10 pm
Jordan Montgomery (7-6 4.15 ERA) vs. Mike Clevinger (5-4 3.68 ERA)

Montgomery had a great start to the year but has given up over three runs in three out of his four past starts, including a 2.2 IP outing against Tampa Bay in which he let up four runs. As the now sixth man in the rotation, there is a good chance the rookie will be the odd man out no matter how well he does, but another bad outing could secure his trip back down to the minors for a while.

The long haired Clevinger is also coming off a rough couple starts, giving up five runs in back to back starts. The righty sticks with a fastball-changeup-slider trio with a fastball that hovers in the low 90s. His slider and curveball have some substantial movement on it, but he chooses the slider almost three times as often. The Bombers hope to continue the young pitcher's streak of bad starts.

Game Four- Saturday, August 6th | First Pitch 1:10 pm
Luis Severino (8-4 2.98 ERA) vs. Carlos Carrasco (10-4 3.89 ERA)

To end the series, the Yankees trot out their young ace who hopes to rebound from an abnormal rocky start against the Tigers. However, he did only surrender one run in that 116 pitch start. The Yankees need Severino to continue his impressive season if they want to make a deep postseason run, even with the additions of Gray and Garcia.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac
Carrasco however, has had some up and down starts recently, surrendering five or more runs in three of his past seven starts including an eight run outing against Texas. The righty boats an impressive curveball that holds hitters to a .152 batting average, and a fastball-changeup combo with a .282 batting average.

Yankees Players to Watch

Chase Headley
The newly transferred first baseman has had a Jekyll and Hyde relationship with the Yankees fan base but is on a hot streak at the current moment boasting a .333 batting average for the month of July. He has also handled the defensive role extremely well, as he currently has a perfect fielding percentage at first base and only five unsuccessful put out situations
Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill
Sonny Gray
The new righty will debut in pinstripes as the series opens in Cleveland, and all eyes will be focused on his first performance. Although it would be unwise to formulate opinions after only one start, an impressive outing will draw a tremendous amount of excitement from the fans. After the first lost series since the All-Star break, starting strong against AL central first place Cleveland will be important for the club.

Indians Players to Watch

Austin Jackson
The center fielder for the Indians not only made an early pick for the catch of the year against Boston, but he also is on a hot streak since the All-Star break batting .414 with a .485 OBP in only eight games of action. Coming off a day of rest Wednesday, the outfielder will be ready to take on the revamped New York rotation

Carlos Santana
Probably the hottest hitter in the Cleveland lineup, recording five RBIs seven hits and three HRs since the All-Star break. The switch hitting first baseman only has a .249 batting average on the season, but a .333 average in the past week.

Conclusion
The Yankees are coming off a disappointing series where their series winning streak was halted after three straight, and look to rebound in Cleveland. Only needing one win from retaking first place in the division, the club would love an excellent debut from their new pitchers Gray and Garcia. The Bombers could also use a resurgence of their usual hot lineup.

Article By: Maxx Hotton

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