The Lede: Yankees Preparing for Suspensions

Sanchez hitting a home run
By Arturo Pardavila III (Flickr) CC License

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story (as adjudged by me) and how it impacts the way you should bet.

Yankees and Tigers Engage in Bench-Clearing Brawl

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 18 hours, you might have missed the bench-clearing brawl that took place in Detroit yesterday during the final game of the Tigers-Yankees series. Here’s how the events unfolded:

Not to kick a guy while he’s down, but man is Miguel Cabrera ever having a bad year. The 34-year-old can’t hit a ball (career-low .254 average in 2017) or Austin Romine. Perhaps the five-plus-game suspension that’s coming will be a blessing for Cabrera.

The two-time AL MVP was one of eight players/coaches ejected from the game and won’t be the only to receive notice from the league. Alex Wilson, Tommy Kahnle, Dellin Betances, Austin Romine, Brad Ausmus, Joe Girardi, and Yankees’ bench coach Rob Thompson were also sent to their locker rooms early.

Which players should be expecting further punishment from the league? And how many games could each sit out? The answer to that will be important from a betting perspective.

Takeaway: Looking back at some recent brawls that resulted in suspensions is informative. Earlier this season when Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland threw fists, the former received a four-game suspension (later reduced to three on appeal) and the latter received six. Going back to the shot Rougned Odor delivered to Jose Bautista, the former received an eight-game suspension and the latter just one. And in 2015, this White Sox-Royals brawl resulted in six players being suspended, with the max being seven-games.

Let’s start with the less important Tigers, who are 9.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot. As mentioned, Cabrera will likely face somewhere in the realm of a five-game ban for his role as the primary escalator. Michael Fulmer could receive a one-game suspension for throwing at Gary Sanchez, which instigated the entire brouhaha. Alex Wilson is staring down at least a one-game suspension for throwing at Todd Frazier after warnings had been issued. And manager Brad Ausmus could receive a game or two for not controlling his players.

The Yankees currently occupy the first Wild Card spot and hold a 3.5-game lead over the Twins, who sit in the second Wild Card spot, so the suspensions will have a much more severe impact on them. The biggest loss will be Gary Sanchez, who has hit four home runs in last three games and is averaging .321 at the plate in August. The catcher was not ejected from the game, but the video shows him throwing punches at players who are already on the ground. The 24-year-old could be facing anywhere from five to ten games for his role.

It’s likely Betances and Kahnle will both receive discipline, as well. Somewhere between one to three games would suffice for their actions. If Romine gets further punishment, it should only be a small fine. Realistically, all he did was tackle Cabrera before he could take more swings at him.

With series against the Mariners and Indians on the schedule before a massive four-game series against the Al East-leading Red Sox, the Yankees will hope the league acts swiftly in their decision.