Yankees vs Indians – MLB Pick for August 3rd

by Jason Armstrong
on August 3, 2017
New York Yankees(-155)
Cleveland Indians (+135)

The New York Yankees travel to Cleveland tonight for game one of a big four game series with the Cleveland Indians. The matchup features two of the best teams in the American League, both fighting for their respective division titles. Both teams will be sending their ace to the mound tonight in game one from Progressive Field in Cleveland. For the Indians, it will be former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber on the mound. The Yankees will send out the newly acquired Sonny Gray to try and pick up a win in his first ever start in pinstripes.  First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST.

The New York Yankees did what the New York Yankees do at the trade deadline. They made moves. They picked up Todd Frazier to help bolster the lineup and Sonny Gray to beef up the starting rotation. Most teams would be content with snagging one major impact player in a late summer trade, not the Yankees. After a series of moves that saw the Yankees go from wild card contenders to a team with legit World Series aspirations, this team is loaded. Coming into this year, nobody could have predicted just how good the young players in New York were going to be. It is safe to say they have exceeded even the loftiest of expectations.

Highlighting that youth movement is one Aaron Judge. Judge is amongst the league leaders in all three triple crown categories this season, hitting .300 with 34 homers and 75 RBI coming into today. Judge broke the long-standing Yankees’ rookie home run record earlier this season. Surpassing a mark set by Joe Freaking DiMaggio. When you start breaking records that were held by Joltin’ Joe you are doing something special. And to make it even more impressive? He broke the record before the All-Star break! The future is bright with these young Yankees.

Sonny Gray has always wanted to be a Yankee. When he found out last week, he was going to be traded he was elated to find out he would be soon pitching in the Bronx. Love ‘em or hate ‘em the New York Yankees are the sexiest brand in baseball. Gray is a major acquisition that is going to add a top of the rotation ace to a pitching staff that badly needed one. The Yankees bullpen has been lights out all year long, it has been the starters that have struggled. Gray is here to help.

Gray started out the season a little shaky, going 2-2 with an ERA of 4.72 in April. But as the summer sun heated up so did Gray. Gray was red hot in July, going 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA. Maybe he was listening to all the trade talks about him, and he was trying his best to impress so he could finally get traded out of the baseball living hell Oakland has been over the last several years. Maybe it was just Gray getting back to his normal self after a slow start. Whatever the case may be the Yankees got a great pitcher that is at the top of his game right now.

To face off against Sonny Gray, the Indians send Corey Kluber to the mound. One of the few pitchers in the League that has been hotter than Sonny Gray recently? Corey Kluber. Over the last two months, Kluber has been mowing through the opposing hitters. With a 5-1 record and an ERA of under two, Kluber has been dominant. Kluber has struck out double digits hitters in nine out of his last eleven starts, striking out thirty-eight in his last three starts. The Former Cy Young award winner has been on point and is leading his team to yet another Division Title.

This is a tight game to pick tonight. Both teams are playing well at the moment, and both teams have their ace on the mound. But I don’t want to fall into a sense of false equivalency here, Sonny Gray ain’t no Corey Kluber. Kluber is striking people out at an absurd rate right now, and in two starts against the Yankees last year he went 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA. Lifetime against the Yankees he is 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA, those pinstripes don’t scare Corey Kluber.

Sonny Gray against Cleveland this year? 1-1 with a 5.91 ERA. He owns a career 3-2 record with a 3.43 ERA against the Indians. I have a feeling that tonight’s start might be a little too much for Gray. He is used to pitching out on the west coast in front of a couple handfuls of fans. Tonight, he will be starting for the New York Yankees with the eyes of the world on him. I wouldn’t be shocked if he cracks a little bit under the pressure. A big-time premier against a big-time team and a big-time pitcher might just be too much for Gray’s big-time debut. I will lay the odds and take Cleveland at home. Give me the Indians -130.

The Bet: Cleveland -130
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