Astros, Indians are deep enough to make deep playoff runs

Astros, Indians are deep enough to make deep playoff runs

These three teams are the clear favorites as postseason baseball heats up, as far as the Vegas odds go.

Normally, I eschew fixed-odds futures like these because you can nearly always get a better payoff by taking the series price in a team's first series and parlaying your winnings onto each subsequent series (or game-by-game in single-elimination tournaments such as the National Football League playoffs or March Madness). It would also nearly immediately begin all sorts of "a new dynasty?" talk, considering all the young players on the Yankees (and all the ones who are coming). This should prove to be an entertaining series. The former New York Yankees shortstop joined new controlling owner Bruce Sherman in speaking publicly for the first time Tuesday about their group's $1.2 billion purchase of the Marlins.

Now the focus turns toward the American League Division Series and National League Division Series, where all of the heavy hitters begin their respective postseason campaigns in search of the, in some cases, elusive World Series trophy.

The only bullpen that was more valuable was New York's.

Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances get a lot of the attention thanks to their overpowering stuff, but the Yankees' bullpen is good all over.

Gray's 8.4% walk rate ranks him 14 among qualified starting pitchers this season, while the Indians' 9.7% rate as a team puts them in a tie with their ALDS opponents for 3. In Game 1, Cleveland starts Trevor Bauer with NY countering with Sonny Gray. Over those three starts, he gave up a total of 11 runs with a record of 1-2.

Cleveland used a torrid second half of the season, which included an AL-record 22 consecutive victories between August and September, to finish two wins short of the National League's Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors. Houston pounded them for 12 runs last Thursday night, but after a one-run loss Friday night, the Sox rebounded to win 6-3 Saturday and clinch the AL East title.

While MLB has not had a team repeat as World Series champions since 2000, teams that make a World Series seem more apt to do it again, regardless of what happened in the regular season (see the San Francisco Giants in 2010, 2012 and 2014).

"He's good for Major League Baseball", Francona said of Judge. It is no secret that they rely on the long ball for the success of their offense.

The Yankees might be getting a small break by facing Trevor Bauer in the first game instead of Corey Kluber. Clayton Kershaw may be the best pitcher of the past 20 years, but he's still looking for his signature October (although that wonderful relief appearance he turned in last year against the Nationals was fun). After tweeting that he had just thrown "the fastest pitch in the history of baseball", Trump fumes when TrackMan data says otherwise. Here's Callaway on the Yankees... The plays: Yankees plus-145 in series, Yankees in Game 2 but only if losing Game 1, Yankees if home underdogs. While not possessing the raw power of the Astros or Yankees, the Tribe can apply the pressure in more ways than either club. Mainly at the plate. And a championship would do wonders for a sports city that has known only pain for a very long time now, thanks mainly to the Capitals. Arizona is likely to start ace RHP Zack Greinke, who held the Rockies to a.229/.241/.435 slash line in five starts this season. When the Indians get baserunners, they should be aggressive on the base paths and keep Sanchez on his toes and take advantage of his potential miscues. The Indians have a deep bullpen and the special post-season weapon that is left-hander Andrew Miller.



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