They also had an Major League Baseball record 22-game winning streak from August 24-Sept. 14.
"Once in a while, when a team has a sensational regular season, they have this sense like, 'We can't blip it now". The Yankees and Cubs met in the 1932 and 1938 World Series, with NY sweeping both.
The Yankees, led by rookie sensation Aaron Judge, are looking to make a splash in the playoffs. This is the main reason the D-backs went out and spent 31 million dollars on pitcher Zach Greinke.
According to Fangraphs, the Cubs have a 10.9 percent chance of winning the World Series, the lowest percentage of any division-winning team. Cleveland played like a 109-win team. "All that means is we played better than they did at that time". Cleveland is +170 to repeat as the AL pennant victor and NY is +450. However, winning a battle of the bullpens won't be almost as easy against Cleveland as it was against the Twins. There's little World Series history for the Astros (one pennant, and a sweep at the hands of the White Sox in 2005), so this is uncharted territory for them.
In a five-game series over seven days, pitch counts become less of a factor, and Girardi has the luxury of using his relievers as much as he needs to.
"As you saw us getting into the second half and the important games we want to play in, you saw everyone kind of turning that switch back on". Cleveland may sense an opportunity. CC Sabathia over-performed his peripherals; Jordan Montgomery did the same, and is probably headed to the 'pen anyway for the rest of October. The 6-foot-8 righty walked seven over his final 9 2/3 innings and finished with 44 walks, up from 28 a year ago. Ace Luis Severino was a disaster in the top of a first inning that he didn't get out of.
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However, they have dismantled their opponents so far with a mixture of classical Jose Mourinho defending and brute power up front. This is the team that the fans have been craving for since the Red Devils last lifted the Premier League title in 2013.
At the time the photo angered a lot of Clevelanders, not only because he was rooting for the other team, but the life-long Akron, OH resident had just signed with the Miami Heat. Kahnle went 2.1. Robertson blew past his career single-game high with 3.1. They'll feel pretty silly only having Kluber pitch once, right?
Francona might have a shot to expose the Yankees bullpen if they grow tired as the series wears on. This will be no easy task for the Yankees.
Then again, Girardi doesn't have just the four elite bullpen arms he called on against Minnesota; he's got eight. Warren, like Betances, also limits quality at-bats, yielding just five barrels on 947 pitches (0.53 percent) this season. All are available and fresh for Game 1 on Thursday. Green was able to get out of trouble for Severino. Betances, Shreve and Chapman weren't far behind.
PEN PALS: Cleveland and NY boast two of baseball's best bullpens, stacked with hard-throwers, specialists and elite closers. I have concerns though this team peeked too early. But his first goal has to be to rough up the rotation. Including his time with Oakland, the 27-year-old right-hander was 1-2 with a 4.86 ERA in three starts against Cleveland this season.
On the Indians staff, it's widely known what Corey "Klubot" Kluber and Carlos "Cookie" Carrasco can do to a lineup. Oh, by the way, let's not forget about relief ace Andrew Miller and closer Cody Allen. It's not a fair matchup. The Cleveland lineup has a litany of assets.