MLB Picks 2012: Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees

The Cleveland Indians (37-36) and New York Yankees (45-28) will close out a three-game American League series on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 ET

Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have the best record in baseball entering Wednesday's action

Cleveland has dropped four games in a row to fall 1.5 games back of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central standings, suffering a 6-4 setback to New York on Tuesday night.  The Indians offense has stalled over the first five games of their current 10-game road trip, scoring just nine combined runs.  The club is going to have a hard time improving upon those numbers, posting an AL-worst 5-15 record against left-handed starters this year.  Cleveland is 12-18 in day games, with the “over” going 18-10 in those contests.

Indians starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 4.59 ERA) is coming off a 2-0 road win over the Houston Astros in his last effort, giving up just four hits over 6.2 shutout innings.  The right-hander is 4-3 with a 5.28 ERA in eight road outings, issuing 28 walks and striking out 35 batters in 44.1 combined frames.  Jimenez earned a 4-2 win over New York in his only career start against them, allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings on June 24, 2011 at Yankee Stadium.

New York has the best record in the majors, and has won four games in a row entering the series finale.  The Yankees are now focused on picking up their first three-game home sweep of the Indians since April 17-19, 2007.  The club is 13-8 in day games this year, but has played the fewest such contests in the league thus far.  Second baseman Robinson Cano is the player to watch offensively, hitting .344 with six home runs and nine RBI in his last nine games.  New York is 15-6 at home when the total is 9 to 9.5, with the “under” going 13-8 in that situation.

Yankees starting pitcher Andy Pettitte (3-3, 3.29 ERA) suffered a 6-4 road setback to the New York Mets in his last start, allowing five runs and seven hits over six frames.  The left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in five home outings, as opponents are hitting just .205 against him.  Pettitte’s eight regular-season wins against the Indians are his lowest total against any AL team in his career, but he did earn an 11-2 victory in his last start against them on May 31, 2010.

Bettors will likely back the Yankees due to their 44-10 record in Pettitte’s last 54 starts as a home favorite of -151 to -200, while the Indians have dropped six straight as a road underdog.

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